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Political Economy: September 5, 2010 - September 11, 2010

Did Obama hint he's going to appoint Elizabeth Warren?

One interesting nugget from Obama's presser: He seemed to hint strongly that he is leaning towards appointing Elizabeth Warren as his key Wall Street consumer cop, which would throw a big bone to liberals who strongly support her and want to see Obama take a stand on something they care about. The left has mounted a campaign to get Warren appointed as head of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which is central to the success of one of Obama's main achievements, the Wall Street reform bill, on the grounds that she's a highly qualified, very aggressive advocate.

By Washington Post editors  | September 10, 2010; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  
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Austan Goolsbee: Triathlete, improv comedian, economist

Austan Goolsbee, who will be appointed to succeed Christina Romer as chair of the President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors, isn't your stereotypical, button-down economist.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 10, 2010; 9:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  President's Council of Economic Advisors  
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Morning briefing: Japan unveils new stimulus, reports higher GDP growth

Japan unveiled a new $11 billion stimulus package and reported that its economy expanded faster than economists had expected. The country's GDP grew at an annualized rate of 1.5 percent in April through June. China reported that its August trade surplus hit $20 billion, the second highest this year. India's industrial output grew 13.8 percent, far more than expected. Dubai World finalized the restructuring of $24.9 billion worth of debt

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 10, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Economic agenda: Friday, Sept. 10, 2010

At 10 a.m. -- Commerce Dept. reports on wholesale inventories for July...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 10, 2010; 5:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  
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Data Digest: Jobless claims fall more than expected

Jobless claims The numbers: Initial applications for unemployment benefits fell a seasonally adjusted 27,000 to 451,000 the week ending Sept. 5. Economists had predicted a decline of 2,000. About 4.5 million people continued to draw unemployment aid in the week...

By Washington Post editors  | September 9, 2010; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  *Data Digest, Unemployment  
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Data Digest: U.S. trade gap shrinks dramatically

International trade The numbers: Exports were up 1.8 percent in July for a total value of $153.3 billion. Imports, which had been growing, fell 2.1 percent to $196.1 billion. Quick take: Things aren't looking as dire as they were...

By Washington Post editors  | September 9, 2010; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Data Digest  
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Mortgage rates inch up for first time in 12 weeks

Freddie Mac said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.35 percent this week, breaking a run of weekly record lows that spanned most of the summer. Last week, the rate averaged 4.32 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage set a new record low of 3.83 percent, down from 3.83 percent last week.

By Elizabeth Razzi  | September 9, 2010; 11:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Housing  
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U.S. trade gap contracts sharply in hopeful sign for economy; jobless claims fall

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed significantly in July and applications for unemployment benefits fell more than forecast, according to government reports that lifted hopes about the economic recovery. Trade figures released by the Commerce Department Thursday morning showed that some of that was made up in July when the deficit fell 14 percent to $42.8 billion, much more than economists had forecast. The Labor Department said Thursday that new filings for jobless claims fell a seasonally adjusted 27,000 last week to 451,000.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 9, 2010; 9:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Trade, Unemployment  
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Morning briefing: OECD says global recovery slowing faster than expected

The global economic recovery is slowing faster than anticipated, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its latest economic assessment. The OECD cut its growth forecasts for the second half of the year, estimating that the Group of Seven industrialized countries are predicted to grow by 1.5 percent on an annualized basis.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 9, 2010; 8:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Elizabeth Warren pays another visit to White House

Elizabeth Warren slipped quietly into Washington on Tuesday to talk with President Obama about the possibility of leading the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, according to people familiar with the meeting.

By Brady Dennis  | September 9, 2010; 8:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  
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Beige book: Fed banks see widespread signs of economic slowdown

The U.S. economy continued growing this summer, but "with widespread signs of deceleration," according to a new report on business conditions around the country. The Federal Reserve's "beige book," an eight-times-a-year compilation of anecdotal information from firms in the 12 Fed districts, was released Wednesday afternoon and offers a portrait of an uncertain economic moment in which growth has slowed in much of the United States.

By Neil Irwin  | September 8, 2010; 2:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Federal Reserve, U.S. Economy  
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Mortgage purchase applications rise to highest level since end of May

The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly report showed a glimmer of hope for the housing market: the seasonally adjusted mortgage purchase index jumped 6.3 percent from a week earlier--the highest level since the end of May. Does this mean the housing...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 8, 2010; 9:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Housing  
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Morning briefing: German exports, Japanese machinery orders show strong growth

Machinery orders in Japan jumped 8.8 percent in July--the most in seven months. German exports were slightly lower in July.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 8, 2010; 6:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Economic agenda: Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010

At 10 a.m. - The Labor Department releases its monthly survey of labor market turnover. At 2 p.m. - The Federal Reserve releases its beige book survey of regional economic activity. At 2:10 p.m. - President Obama visits Ohio to...

By Mike Shepard  | September 8, 2010; 5:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Economic agenda  
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'Recovery Summer' goes bust in GOP video

On June 17, President Obama and Vice President Biden proclaimed that it would be a "Recovery Summer." Now that summer's over and it's clear there has been slower growth and meager hiring, that declaration has come back to haunt the administration in the GOP's new ad campaign. In a 1.5 minute segment, the National Republican Senatorial Committee takes snippets from economic reports and reporters from major media outlets, including The Washington Post, to prove its point.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 7, 2010; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Elections, U.S. Economy  
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Obama's tax plan for business: Will companies start spending?

President Obama at the annual Milwaukee Area Labor Council Laborfest on Monday. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Morry Gash) The White House is rolling out a plan that's the strongest attempt yet to jump-start the economy through policies aimed at business....

By By Jia Lynn Yang  | September 7, 2010; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Corporate taxes, Corporations  
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Morning briefing: Japan keeps interests rates stable, U.K. transit workers strike

Outside the Liverpool Street rail station in London. Millions of commuters across the British capital struggled to get to work on Tuesday as a 24-hour strike by workers on London's underground rail system crippled much of the network. (Photo...

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 7, 2010; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  *Morning briefing  
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Week ahead: New details on trade

After a busy week of economic data, this one should be quieter, offering the Federal Reserve's compilation of anecdotal information on the job market and new details on trade. Wednesday The Fed releases its beige book, an eight-times-a-year assemblage of...

By Neil Irwin  | September 7, 2010; 6:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Federal Reserve, Trade  
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