Marilyn Geewax http://kbia.org en 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 Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club? http://kbia.org/post/obamas-budget-magic-wand-or-club Think of the <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview" target="_blank">budget plan released Tuesday</a> by President Obama as a magic wand. If he could wave it and make every line come true, how would the U.S. economy look?<p>Like this:<p>Wealthier Americans would be paying more in taxes, while poorer ones would be getting new tax credits. More roads would be under construction and scientists would be receiving more funding. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:46:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 49094 at http://kbia.org Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club? Marching Into Spring, Realtors' Hopes Rise http://kbia.org/post/marching-spring-realtors-hopes-rise For real estate agents, March Madness has begun.<p>The rush is on to throw out clutter, paint walls and clean carpets. Historic data show the peak time for selling homes is April through July, and that means this is the month for spring cleaning.<p>"Freshen up the landscape and add that mulch now," Dallas Realtor Jeff Duffey recommended in a phone interview. Sun, 02 Mar 2014 10:26:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 48949 at http://kbia.org Marching Into Spring, Realtors' Hopes Rise After A Weak Holiday Season, Wal-Mart Profits Shrink http://kbia.org/post/after-weak-holiday-season-wal-mart-profits-shrink Wal-Mart on Thursday reported that its annual profits failed to grow. And failed by a lot.<p>Full-year net income tumbled to $16 billion, down by nearly $1 billion from the previous year.<p>That tells you a great deal about how hard the economy has been on the lower-income shoppers who make up Wal-Mart's core customer base, according to Charles Fishman, author of <em>The </em><em>Wal-Mart</em><em> </em><em>Effect</em>.<p>"This clearly reflects the economic constraints on people who shop at Wal-Mart," Fishman said.<p>The holiday season was especially disappointing. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:25:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 48476 at http://kbia.org After A Weak Holiday Season, Wal-Mart Profits Shrink CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs http://kbia.org/post/cbo-minimum-wage-hike-could-boost-paychecks-and-cut-jobs Whatever you already believed about raising the federal minimum wage, you now have more ammo for your argument, thanks to a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, titled <a href="http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf">"The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income."</a><p>Yes, you're right: Raising the wage in steps to $10.10 an hour by 2016 would push employers to cut jobs — about 500,000 of them, says the CBO, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress.<p>And yes, you're right: The proposed raise would lift n Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:36:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 48371 at http://kbia.org CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs