Marilyn Geewax http://kbia.org en Inflation Came In Low Again, But Are There Bubbles? http://kbia.org/post/inflation-came-low-again-are-there-bubbles Want to borrow money for a car or a home this fall?<p>Oddly enough, the interest rates available months from now for big-ticket items may be determined by the prices you pay today for everyday consumer goods. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:39:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 56531 at http://kbia.org Inflation Came In Low Again, But Are There Bubbles? Latest Wrinkle In The Jobs Debate: Blame The Boomers http://kbia.org/post/latest-wrinkle-jobs-debate-blame-boomers Since late 2007, the U.S. labor force has shrunk significantly, raising questions about where former workers have gone and why.<p>Now the White House Council of Economic Advisers says it has found answers and has compiled them into a <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/labor_force_participation_report.pdf">detailed research report </a>released Thursday.<p>As it turns out, most of the missing workers have been hiding in plain sight: They are retiring baby boomers.<p>"In 2008, the U.S. economy collided with two historic forces. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:36:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 56321 at http://kbia.org Latest Wrinkle In The Jobs Debate: Blame The Boomers Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort' http://kbia.org/post/citigroup-settlement-offers-former-homeowners-cold-comfort Should you be watching your mailbox for a check from Citigroup?<p>The banking giant says it will pay out $2.5 billion to provide "consumer relief" to help <a href="http://www.citigroup.com/citi/news/2014/140714a.htm">settle charges</a> brought against it by the U.S. Justice Department. The government said Monday that "defects" in Citi's mortgage securities had fueled the financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession.<p>And we all suffered from that catastrophe. Between 2007 and 2009, U.S. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:10:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 56169 at http://kbia.org Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort' Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It http://kbia.org/post/economists-say-inflation-tame-consumers-arent-buying-it Economists regularly issue reports calling inflation tame or mild, or some other word that suggests consumers shouldn't be feeling much pain.<p>One example: "Inflation has been tame and this is providing households with some relief" from economic stress, according to an assessment done this week by PNC Financial Services.<p>But if you happen to be buying gasoline or groceries, you may not be feeling relieved — at all.<p>"It's kind of hard to even buy milk and bread," said Kimberly Acevedo, a bank teller who was shopping at a Best Market in Harlem. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:02:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 55969 at http://kbia.org Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It Hiring Looks Good Now, But Wage Growth Lags http://kbia.org/post/hiring-looking-good-now-wage-growth-lags The unemployment report released Thursday by the Labor Department offered great news for job seekers: <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Hiring boomed</a> in June.<p>That good news helped send stock prices to record levels, with the Dow Jones industrial average crossing the 17,000 mark for the first time to close at 17,068.26, up 92.02.<p>Unfortunately, the jobs report also contained sobering news for people who already have jobs: All of that hiring is not translating into wage hikes. Thu, 03 Jul 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 55603 at http://kbia.org Hiring Looks Good Now, But Wage Growth Lags How Many Companies Will Be Touched By Court's Contraception Ruling? http://kbia.org/post/how-many-companies-will-be-touched-courts-contraception-ruling When the Supreme Court ruled Monday that "closely held" corporations <a href="file:///C:/Users/aschneider/Documents/My%20Documents/326926331">don't have to pay for workers' contraception</a>, you may have assumed the decision applied only to family-owned businesses.<p>Wrong. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:46:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 55423 at http://kbia.org How Many Companies Will Be Touched By Court's Contraception Ruling? U.K. Loses Big Vote On The Future Of Europe — Now What? http://kbia.org/post/uk-loses-big-vote-future-europe-now-what The European Union made history Friday by bringing three of Russia's neighbors — Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova — under its economic tent.<p>The <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/06/27/326076494/ukraine-signs-trade-deal-with-eu-risking-russia-s-ire">eastward expansion</a> of trade agreements will push European influence deep into a region that Russia would like to dominate. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 17:51:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 55281 at http://kbia.org U.K. Loses Big Vote On The Future Of Europe — Now What? In Flanders Fields, Europeans Still Learning How To Get Along http://kbia.org/post/flanders-fields-europeans-still-learning-how-get-along On Thursday, European leaders are gathering in Belgium to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I — the bloodbath that ended millions of European lives.<p>And killed 116,516 U.S. troops. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 55178 at http://kbia.org In Flanders Fields, Europeans Still Learning How To Get Along Job Outlook Brightens For Graduates, Though Problems Linger http://kbia.org/post/job-outlook-brightens-graduates-though-problems-linger Congratulations Class of 2014! You are entering a labor market that offers a record number of paychecks.<p>On Friday, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy now has <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/06/06/319404238/will-the-u-s-finally-gets-past-pre-recession-jobs-total">138.5 million jobs</a>, slightly more than the previous high set in early 2008 — just as the Great Recession was tightening its grip.<p>The post-recession peak came after employers added 217,000 jobs in May. That marked the fourth straight month when payrolls increased by at least 200,000. Sat, 07 Jun 2014 09:46:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 54203 at http://kbia.org Job Outlook Brightens For Graduates, Though Problems Linger Is Pushing Interest Rates To Less Than Zero A Crazy Idea? http://kbia.org/post/pushing-interest-rates-less-zero-crazy-idea By now, you may have heard that on Thursday, the European Central Bank shifted to a <em>negative</em><em> </em>interest-rate policy for deposits.<p>That news may have prompted two thoughts: 1) Isn't that crazy? 2) Who cares what happens in Europe?<p>These questions have answers. But first, some background:<p>The <a href="http://www.ecb.europa.eu/home/html/index.en.html">European Central Bank</a>'s mission is to promote price stability and steady growth. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 22:34:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 54139 at http://kbia.org Is Pushing Interest Rates To Less Than Zero A Crazy Idea? Regulators And Airlines Fight Over Fares, Fees And Fairness http://kbia.org/post/regulators-and-airlines-fight-over-fares-fees-and-fairness This week, the Department of Transportation hit Southwest Airlines with a <a href="http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/dot-fines-southwest-violating-price-advertising-rule-assesses-additional-penalties">$200,000 fine</a> for touting a fare that did not exist. The carrier had said in a TV ad that customers in Atlanta could fly to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles for just $59. But the bargain fare turned out to be too good to be true.<p>Southwest, which paid a fine for a similar problem last year, says the ad was a mistake. Sat, 31 May 2014 17:22:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 53858 at http://kbia.org Regulators And Airlines Fight Over Fares, Fees And Fairness The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back http://kbia.org/post/economy-takes-dip-analysts-look-it-snap-back The Commerce Department on Thursday <a href="http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm">said the U.S. economy shriveled</a> during the icy winter, contracting at a 1 percent pace.<p>So does that news leave you feeling chilled with disappointment, or revved up for a summer rebound?<p>How consumers and business owners answer may determine the direction of jobs and economic growth for the back half of 2014.<p>Most economists favor the revved-up scenario. Thu, 29 May 2014 20:58:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 53745 at http://kbia.org The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back It's Geithner Vs. Warren In Battle Of The Bailout http://kbia.org/post/its-geithner-vs-warren-battle-bailout The financial crisis of 2008 caused such an enormous upheaval that future historians will long be asking: Who caused it? Who fixed it? Could it have turned out better?<p>Recently, two key players looked back: Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote <em>S</em><em>tress Test, Reflections on Financial Crisis</em><em>,</em> and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote <em>A Fighting Chance</em><em>.</em><p>The two reached opposite conclusions. Geithner believes the bank bailout proved its worth. Sun, 25 May 2014 09:29:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 53498 at http://kbia.org It's Geithner Vs. Warren In Battle Of The Bailout Economist Piketty's Work Doesn't Add Up, 'Financial Times' Says http://kbia.org/post/economist-pikettys-work-doesnt-add-financial-times-says French economist Thomas Piketty became a publishing superstar this year by putting two and two together and concluding that the rich are getting richer.<p>His best-seller, <em>Capital in the Twenty-First Century</em>, uses mountains of data to calculate Western wealth over the past two centuries. Fri, 23 May 2014 21:28:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 53459 at http://kbia.org Economist Piketty's Work Doesn't Add Up, 'Financial Times' Says Housing Is Perking Up, But Realtors Worry About Young Buyers http://kbia.org/post/housing-perking-realtors-worry-about-young-buyers The U.S. Thu, 15 May 2014 19:59:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 53007 at http://kbia.org Housing Is Perking Up, But Realtors Worry About Young Buyers Bill Clinton Says His Wife's Brain Is Just Fine, Thank You http://kbia.org/post/bill-clinton-says-his-wifes-brain-just-fine-thank-you Bill Clinton says he was "dumbfounded" by Republican strategist Karl Rove's recent comments about Hillary Clinton's brain. But the former president was hardly left speechless.<p>"First they say she was faking her concussion; now they say she's auditioning for a part on <em>The Walking Dead,</em>" Clinton said on Wednesday when asked about Rove's remark that Hillary may have suffered "brain damage" from a fall in 2012.<p>"She is strong; she is doing great. As far as I can tell, she's in better shape than I am," Clinton said of his wife. Wed, 14 May 2014 19:16:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 52932 at http://kbia.org Bill Clinton Says His Wife's Brain Is Just Fine, Thank You On Income Inequality: A French Economist Vs. An American Capitalist http://kbia.org/post/income-inequality-french-economist-vs-american-capitalist Picture a cozy cafe. At a small table, an economics professor from Paris is chatting with a wealthy businessman from New York.<p>As they sip coffee, they discuss economic history, and often nod and agree.<p>Then, as they stand to leave, each states a conclusion drawn from their conversation. But what they say is exactly, completely opposite.<p>One says economic history proves governments must impose very heavy taxes to break up concentrations of wealth. The other says governments should cut taxes to encourage wealthy people to pursue even bigger profits.<p>Huh? Sun, 11 May 2014 09:40:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 52752 at http://kbia.org On Income Inequality: A French Economist Vs. An American Capitalist Gasoline Prices Rise As U.S. Refineries Send More Fuel Overseas http://kbia.org/post/gasoline-prices-rise-us-refineries-send-more-fuel-overseas The weather is warming and vacation season approaching.<p>And, just as predictably, the price of gasoline is rising. It does that every spring as refineries switch to more expensive summer blends.<p>But this year, the seasonal price bump is getting an extra bounce. Gasoline is costing consumers about 5 percent more than last year at this time, even though oil supplies are abundant. Why?<p>Experts say U.S. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 17:51:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 51966 at http://kbia.org Gasoline Prices Rise As U.S. Refineries Send More Fuel Overseas Obama Wants To Sell Exports To Asia, But Critics Aren't Buying http://kbia.org/post/obama-wants-sell-exports-asia-critics-arent-buying Next week, President Obama is going to Asia, where he'll talk up a proposed deal to increase U.S. trade with that region.<p>If he succeeds, he could open up huge new markets for U.S. farmers and manufacturers, strengthen U.S. influence in Asia and set a path to greater prosperity.<p>At least, that's what the White House says.<p>Critics say that cheery outlook is all wrong. They believe the <a href="http://www.ustr.gov/tpp">Trans-Pacific Partnership</a> would lead to environmental harm, more expensive prescription drugs and a less open Internet. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:40:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 51537 at http://kbia.org Obama Wants To Sell Exports To Asia, But Critics Aren't Buying Frustrated With Congress, IMF Heads Leave D.C. With Budding Idea http://kbia.org/post/frustrated-congress-imf-heads-leave-dc-budding-idea As far as looks go, Washington turned in a dazzling performance as host city for this past week's meetings at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.<p>Cherry blossoms peaked, tulips popped, and the air carried the sweet scent of hyacinths.<p>But politics-wise, Washington let down its global guests. Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:41:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 51249 at http://kbia.org Frustrated With Congress, IMF Heads Leave D.C. With Budding Idea German Fears About U.S. Spying Could Hurt Trade Deal http://kbia.org/post/german-fears-about-us-spying-could-hurt-trade-deal Most Americans and Germans agree: More trade between the United States and the European Union would be a good idea.<p>But when you get down to details of a possible trade pact, suspicions pop up, <a href="http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/04/09/support-in-principle-for-u-s-eu-trade-pact/">according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center</a> in association with Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation.<p>"There is a lot of fear" now in Europe about how much Americans might pry into Europeans' lives if they could impose their more relaxed privacy standards on the EU, Aart De Geus, CEO of the Ber Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:38:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 51130 at http://kbia.org German Fears About U.S. Spying Could Hurt Trade Deal Wonk Week In Washington: When Briefings Are Better Than Blossoms http://kbia.org/post/wonk-week-washington-when-briefings-are-better-blossoms Let the senior-citizen tourists stare at the fluffy pink cherry blossoms.<p>Let the Midwestern seventh-graders tilt their heads back and gaze gape-mouthed at the Washington Monument.<p>Sure, this is a lovely week for them to be in Washington, D.C. It's April. It's gorgeous.<p>But no one is happier to be here this week than the wonks. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:49:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 51098 at http://kbia.org Wonk Week In Washington: When Briefings Are Better Than Blossoms Turmoil in Ukraine Clouds The Region's Economic Outlook http://kbia.org/post/turmoil-ukraine-clouds-regions-economic-outlook When Americans envision the European economy, they may think of modern factories churning out sleek German cars and chocolatiers perfecting Belgian truffles.<p>That developed part of Europe is perking up. <a href="http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2014/RES040814A.htm">The International Monetary Fund said this week</a> that, coming out of a crushing recession, Eurozone growth should be around 1.2 percent - sluggish but steady this year.<p>Another part of the continent, however, is anything but steady these days. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:09:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 51067 at http://kbia.org 21st Century Energy Outlook: Quite Similar To The Last Two Centuries http://kbia.org/post/21st-century-energy-outlook-quite-similar-last-two-centuries The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's <a href="http://www.energyxxi.org"><em>Institute for 21</em><em><sup>st</sup></em></a><em><a href="http://www.energyxxi.org"> Century Energy</a> </em>sponsored the event.<p>But the speaker, Anthony Alexander, the chief executive of FirstEnergy Corp., offered a vigorous defense of that 20th century invention — nuclear power. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:06:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 50989 at http://kbia.org Expecting A Spring Thaw, Shops And Restaurants Warm To Hiring http://kbia.org/post/expecting-spring-thaw-retailers-and-restaurants-warm-hiring As winter loosens its grip, employers are taking on more help.<p>Hotels, bars and restaurants added 33,000 workers, while retailers tacked on 21,000 jobs in March, the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Labor Department said Friday</a>. Economists say those increases suggest employers are growing more confident that Americans will be spending more this year.<p>"Consumers still have the wherewithal to make discretionary purchases and were just waiting for the snow to be plowed and the temperatures to rise to resume spending," IHS Global Insight chief U.S. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 20:49:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 50805 at http://kbia.org Expecting A Spring Thaw, Shops And Restaurants Warm To Hiring Women And Wealth: Local To Global Money Lessons http://kbia.org/post/women-and-wealth-local-global-money-lessons When it comes to money, women rule. Literally.<p>Think about it: A woman holds the top job at the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Social Security Administration.<p>At the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde is the managing director.<p>These women run large, complex organizations that decide how money is invested, budgeted, saved and spent. They shape the rules that govern the global economy.<p>But over on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, men still do more risk-taking.<p>Why is that?<p>And while U.S. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:31:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 50365 at http://kbia.org Women And Wealth: Local To Global Money Lessons After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend http://kbia.org/post/after-winters-chill-economists-predict-warming-trend Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.<p>"Adverse weather conditions" have hurt economic growth so far this year, but things are headed in the right direction now, according to a forecast released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.<p>"Conditions in a variety of areas — including labor, consumer and housing markets — are expected to improve over the next two years, while inflation remains tame," Jack Kleinhenz, NABE president and chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.<p>Each month, the association surveys pr Mon, 24 Mar 2014 04:09:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 50093 at http://kbia.org After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend Paying For College: No Easy Answers For Many Families http://kbia.org/post/paying-college-no-easy-answers-many-families The math is clear: College pays off.<p>Among Americans ages 25 to 32, college graduates earned $17,500 more than high school graduates in 2012 — the largest pay differential ever, according to <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/">Pew Research</a>. When it comes to earnings, "the picture is consistently bleaker for less-educated workers," the Pew study concluded.<p>But even as the value of a college diploma has been rising, the cost of tuition has been increasing even faster — far beyond the reach of most young people. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 07:59:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 49712 at http://kbia.org Paying For College: No Easy Answers For Many Families Overtime Pay Proposal Triggers A New Debate About Wages http://kbia.org/post/overtime-pay-proposal-triggers-new-debate-about-wages On Thursday, President Obama <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/13/289826847/obama-if-you-work-more-you-should-get-paid-more">rolled out his plan</a> for strengthening overtime pay protections for millions of workers. In his view, if more workers got fatter paychecks, they could spend more and stimulate the economy.<p>But if his critics are right, then employers would end up laying off workers to make up for the higher wage costs. And that would hurt the already painfully slow recovery.<p>Which scenario is right?<p>Economists are divided. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:49:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 49541 at http://kbia.org Overtime Pay Proposal Triggers A New Debate About Wages Don't Run Out For Caviar Yet, But Wages Are Heading Higher http://kbia.org/post/dont-run-out-caviar-yet-wages-are-heading-higher Friday's monthly <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">employment report </a>was encouraging — but not just for job seekers. People who already have work could find something to celebrate too: Hourly wages rose at a decent pace.<p>That's a welcome change for employees who have seen only very, very modest raises in this economic recovery.<p>The Labor Department said average hourly wages rose by 9 cents an hour in February, up to $24.31. Sat, 08 Mar 2014 10:20:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 49252 at http://kbia.org Don't Run Out For Caviar Yet, But Wages Are Heading Higher