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Political Economy: August 22, 2010 - August 28, 2010

Trichet: Reducing debt is the great challenge for coming decade

By Neil Irwin JACKSON, Wyo. -- Jean Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank, delivered a lunchtime address Friday that lays down the gauntlet for how he thinks policymakers should grapple with the great overhang of debt and...

By Neil Irwin  |  August 27, 2010; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  
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Treasury's Geithner meets with bloggers

By Ariana Eunjung Cha Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sat down for closed-door meetings with some of the nation's most influential voices in economic regulation and policymaking: bloggers. Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said in an interview that...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 27, 2010; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  U.S. Treasury  
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Commerce official: Immigrants as export power?

By Howard Schneider The Obama administration's export goals may center on giants like Boeing and Microsoft for its success, but officials are attacking the margins as well -- and are looking at America's immigrant communities as a source of export...

By Howard Schneider  |  August 27, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  International Economics , U.S. Economy  
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Scholars: Lackluster recovery is par for the post-crisis course

By Neil Irwin JACKSON, Wyo. -- Ben Bernanke may get all the headlines for his speech Friday morning at the annual economic symposium, but immediately following his speech, the first paper being presented offers some dour perspective of why the...

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 27, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  *Economic agenda , U.S. Economy  
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GDP growth falls sharply in 2Q

By Ariana Eunjung Cha The Commerce Department slashed its estimate for U.S. GDP growth in the second quarter from a 2.4 percent annual rate to 1.6 percent, confirming fears that economic growth has slowed to a crawl. While the numbers...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 27, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  U.S. Economy  
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Morning briefing: U.K. GDP revised upwards

1. The U.K. revised its second-quarter GDP upwards to its fastest rate of growth in nine years. 2. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan pledged "decisive" action to rein in the appreciation of the yen. In his strongest remarks on the...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 27, 2010; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Economic agenda: Friday, Aug. 27, 2010

At 8:30 a.m. - The Commerce Department releases its second estimate of economic growth in the second quarter. Economists are expecting the U.S. gross domestic product to have expanded at an annual rate of 1.4 percent, down from a previous...

By Mike Shepard  |  August 27, 2010; 7:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  
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Nouriel Roubini, a.k.a. "Dr. Doom," predicts double-dip odds at 40 percent

Nouriel Roubini, the famed New York University economist who predicted the financial crisis, tweeted Wednesday that our chances of another recession are increasing. "Q3 GDP growth very likely to be below 1 percent; and likely to be closer to 0%...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 26, 2010; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  U.S. Economy  
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In Jackson Hole, a laid-back retreat with some serious policymaking

JACKSON, Wyo. -- I'm in Grand Teton National Park for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual economic symposium, one of the most important events for the world's makers of monetary policy. This is a conference that serves a serious purpose, beyond giving a bunch of economists (and the reporters who cover them) a chance to breathe some clean mountain air. The academic papers being presented can help advance the state of thinking about monetary policy. And the more private conversations, over meals during the conference and at the Blue Heron Lounge in the evenings, serve an important function of their own, as people hash out views on monetary policy and the economy in a relaxed setting. (It was in a private conference room upstairs, incidentally, that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and others came up with some of their initial responses to the financial crisis back in August 2007).

By Neil Irwin  |  August 26, 2010; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Federal Reserve , U.S. Economy  
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1 in 10 holding mortgages missed payments, but foreclosures drop slightly from earlier this year

(Photo Credit: Bloomberg) By Frank Ahrens Nearly 10 percent of all American homeowners with a mortgage had missed at least one payment this summer, threatening foreclosure, according to fresh data released moments ago by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 26, 2010; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Housing  
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Jobless claims fall, but not enough

Weekly unemployment claims declined Thursday for the first time in a month, but did not fall steeply enough to alleviate ongoing concern about the nation's economic recovery.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 26, 2010; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Federal Reserve , U.S. Economy , Unemployment  
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Morning briefing: German consumer confidence up

1. Japanese bonds declined and stocks inched upward on speculation that the central bank may delay measures to counter the rise of the yen because of political concerns. 2. Consumer confidence in Germany rose even as uncertainty lingers over the...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 26, 2010; 6:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Economic agenda: Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Labor Department releases data on weekly claims for unemployment benefits. Economists are expecting claims will have dipped slightly from last week, to 490,000 At 10 a.m. - The Mortgage Bankers' Association releases data on loan...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 26, 2010; 6:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  
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Trade official: global economy is pushing U.S. businesses in not-so-obvious directions

As head of the International Trade Administration, Undersecretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez will be one of the key players in the Obama administration's quest to double exports over the next five years. A veteran negotiator - in private life he tackled a border dispute in Latin America and took a run at brokering talks with the FARC rebels in Colombia as well - he is focusing on a set of markets and issues that he feels offers a chance of clear and quick returns.

By Howard Schneider  |  August 25, 2010; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  International Economics  
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Durable goods orders disappoint in latest sign of economic weakness

Spending on big-ticket items rose less than expected in July, a sign that one of the areas of economic strength over the first half of the year -- business investment in equipment -- is starting to fade. Overall, orders for durable goods rose 0.3 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, well below the 3 percent that analysts had expected. But even that slight rise was driven by a spike in aircraft orders, a volatile category. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders fell 3.8 percent.

By Neil Irwin  |  August 25, 2010; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  U.S. Economy  
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Morning briefing: Ireland's credit rating downgraded

1. The yen fell back from a 15-year-high after a report said Japan's central bank was considering weakening the currency. 2. Business sentiment in Germany unexpectedly climbed to the highest level since June 2007 despite signs that the economy is...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 25, 2010; 6:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Economic agenda: Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010

At 8:30 a.m. -- The Commerce Department releases data on orders for durable goods in July. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect an increase of 3 percent from June. At 10 a.m. -- The Commerce department releases data on sales of...

By Mike Shepard  |  August 25, 2010; 5:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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CBO says stimulus may have added 3.3 million jobs

By Lori Montgomery President Obama's much-maligned economic stimulus package added as many as 3.3 million jobs to the economy during the second quarter of this year, and may have prevented the nation from lapsing back into recession, according to a...

By Mike Shepard  |  August 24, 2010; 6:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Plunge in home sales not pretty, but necessary for real recovery

Painful as it is to take in the short term, today's news about the plunge in home sales is exactly what this economy needs for the long run.

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 24, 2010; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
Categories:  Housing , U.S. Economy  
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The recovery is losing steam, fast

Another day, another lousy piece of economic data. The 27.2 percent fall in existing home sales in July was far below analysts' official expectations (though in line with some of the whisper numbers that close watchers of housing data were expecting).

By Neil Irwin  |  August 24, 2010; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
Categories:  U.S. Economy  
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Sales of previously occupied homes plunge

Purchases of previously built single-family homes plunged in July to their lowest level since May 1995 as job fears trumped today's low mortgage interest rates and relatively affordable home prices.

By Dina Elboghdady  |  August 24, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Housing  
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Morning briefing: Japan PM says steep currency moves 'undesirable'

1. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said "steep currency moves are undesirable." As the yen remains at a 15-year high, labor leaders are urging action. 2. Factory orders in the 16-country eurozone rose more than expected in June. 3. Germany...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 24, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Economic agenda: Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010

At 10 a.m. -- The National Association of Realtors releases data on sales of previously owned homes in July. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg are expecting sales to have dropped 13.4 percent from June....

By Mike Shepard  |  August 24, 2010; 7:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Cooper quits as lead writer of FCIC report

By Jia Lynn Yang The lead writer for a report ordered by Congress on the causes of the financial crisis has quit just four months before the investigation is due. Matt Cooper, a former writer for Time magazine, has...

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  August 23, 2010; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Morning briefing: Eurozone growth slows

1. The private sector in the 16-country eurozone expanded at a slower pace than expected in August. 2.The Nikkei 225 fell to a low for the year, and Hong Kong shares ended at a four-week low on continued concerns about...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 23, 2010; 6:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Week ahead: Bernanke speech at economic symposium

By Neil Irwin A steady drumbeat of data is coming out this week, but Friday is the big day for economy watchers. Tuesday Forecasters expect existing home sales to have fallen a steep 14.3 percent in July, as the brunt...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  August 23, 2010; 6:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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