Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

When Safe Assets Are No Longer Safe

by Joseph Joyce When Safe Assets Are No Longer Safe The U.S. has long benefitted from its ability to issue “safe assets” to the rest of the world. These usually take the form of U.S. Treasury bonds, although there was a period before the 2008-09 global financial crisis when mortgage-backed securities with Triple A ratings […]

December Trade Deficit Up 1.8%, 27% for 2021

RJS, MarketPlace 666, US Trade Deficit Rose 1.8% in December and up 27% in 2021 Our trade deficit rose 1.8% in December as the value of both our exports and our imports increased, but our imports increased by more….the Census report on our international trade in goods and services for December indicated that our seasonally adjusted goods […]

Third Way trade agreements study leaves out a lot

Third Way (h/t TPM), a Democratic pro-trade think tank, has released a new study, “Are Modern Trade Deals Working?” It examines the various “free trade” deals the U.S. has signed since 2000 to conclude that 13 of 17 have led to an improvement in our goods (not including services; see more below) trade balance with […]

Shortages of prescribed drugs..topical thread

The number of newly reported drug shortages (mostly generic) has been growing: There were 74 newly reported drug shortages in 2005. The number dipped slightly to 70 in 2006, then rose to 129 in 2007, 149 in 2008, 166 in 2009, and 211 in 2010. In mid-2011 there were about 246 shortages. NPR had a […]

How do you get it right?…

Mike’s response to a short note from me I lifted and summarized from an advertisement/advice for investors on Brazil. Mike’s response below the fold: Today, Brazil moved aggressively to ensure that the widening global financial crisis will not reach its shores, taking several measures to stimulate consumption and investment in the world’s seventh largest economy. […]

More on Repatriation–WIN America corporatist lobbying group’s strike back on Heritage

by Linda Beale More on Repatriation–WIN America corporatist lobbying group’s strike back on Heritage In a recent posting, I commented further on the lack of arguments supporting the corporatist lobbying drive for another “repatriation tax holiday” for multinational corporations that have stashed more than a trillion abroad (often through gimmicky transfers of intangible property such […]

Tax Havens in Reverse

Reuters provides a synopsis of a report by the OECD on tax-avoidance strategies by multinational corporations: 30/08/2011 – Due to the recent financial and economic crisis, global corporate losses have increased significantly. Numbers at stake are vast, with loss carry-forwards as high as 25% of GDP in some countries. Though most of these claims are […]

Water, Rights and Privileges, and Global Markets

An article about famine in the Horn of Africa by Maude Barlow appeared today. It is worth your consideration. (h/t coberly) My own response is in comments. Following are excerpts: Most Westerners see the crisis in the Horn of Africa as a combination of a large population, chronic poverty, corruption on the part of African […]

Corporations pushing for job-creation tax breaks shield U.S.-vs.-abroad hiring data

The Washington Post points us to a thought that needs to be included in public debate. (h/t Stormy) Corporations pushing for job-creation tax breaks shield U.S.-vs.-abroad hiring data Some of the country’s best-known multi­national corporations closely guard a number they don’t want anyone to know: the breakdown between their jobs here and abroad. So secretive […]

Is the President Reading Angry Bear?

AB, late Thursday: If you want to stop a dictator from killing his people, freeze any of his personal assets that are held out of the country. In cases where the dictator is likely to fall, it sends a clear signal to other countries. (In cases where the dictator is likely to succeed, the worst […]