Financial regulation: a primer on the Dodd-Frank Act
Last July, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 brought the most sweeping financial regulatory reform since the Great Depression. The May 2011 Liber8 newsletter outlines key provisions of the Act intended to prevent or lessen future financial crises and enhance consumer protection.
The environment is about economics, too
The cleanup cost of the April 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is estimated at $6 billion, not including the economic damage to the fishing and tourism industries, which will likely add several billion more. Proponents of stricter environmental regulation believe such catastrophes could be prevented at a reasonable cost. Opponents argue that many preventive procedures are too costly to justify, given the rarity of such incidents. Determining the right balance between preserving the environment and controlling costs is a difficult job for government regulators. Read the October 2010 ...
Executive compensation and market risks
Some U.S. taxpayers were angry and felt betrayed when financial company executives received large bonuses in the midst of the 2008-09 financial crisis. These executives headed some of the same firms whose risky practices contributed to the crisis?and then later received billions of dollars in government bailouts. Who makes the changes in executive compensation policies and regulations to avoid such risks in the future? Read the February 2010 Newsletter for answers and interesting insights.
The U.S. deficit outlook March 2010
For years, economists have debated the wisdom of increasing government spending during recessions. On the one hand, increased spending adds to budget deficits, but on the other, increased spending can stimulate the economy during a downturn, thus speeding recovery. Deficits topped $1.4 trillion in the latest recession?which raises two questions: "How big is 'too big' in terms of spending?" and "What are the long-term consequences?" The March 2010 Newsletter offers some insights into this timely topic.
Then and now: Fed policy actions during the great depression and great recession
Although the recent Great Recession was severe, its financial impact never paralleled that of the Great Depression. The November Newsletter compares these two economic downturns and shows how lessons learned in the Great Depression helped current Federal Reserve policymakers stabilize the economy during the recent economic crisis.
A crack in the nest egg: are Americans doing enough to save for retirement?
Before the current recession, soaring stock prices and housing values made many Americans feel well off, and thus many were lax in saving for retirement. The current financial market downturn has erased much of the previous gains, leaving many workers unprepared for retirement.
Subprime mortgage lending
This month's newsletter covers the topic of subprime mortgage lending, with data and explanations you may find useful. The subprime market has been a closely covered news topic of late.
Financial crises, reform, and central banking: establishing the federal reserve
Financial crises and recessions have often led to significant financial reform. Perhaps the most noteworthy financial reform of the past century was the formation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. This month's newsletter provides historical details of events leading up to the founding of the Federal Reserve.
Time inconsistency: today’s actions = tomorrow’s regrets
Have you ever bought something you really couldn?t afford? You simply swipe your credit card and leave the store with something shiny and new. That instant gratification overpowers any thought of the regret you?ll have when you must start paying off your accumulated debt. Economists call this phenomenon time inconsistency. Read the September 2011 newsletter for some ideas on how to prevent time inconsistency for yourself and your government.
Retraining displaced U.S. workers
When the current U.S. recession ends and recovery begins, many pre-recession jobs, such as some in financial services and the automobile industry, will not return. So what are the options if jobs in your chosen industry no longer exist? The September 2009 Newsletter focuses on job retraining programs and lists some areas of projected job growth for the near future.