Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

The Fed’s new man

January 29, 2006


Ben_Bernanke.jpgWhen the Chairman of the Federal Reserve speaks, the   world’s business leaders listen.  For the past 18 years they have hung on to every word of Alan Greenspan but this Tuesday the economic voice of America passes to a new man – the widely known and admired Ben S Bernanke, a 52 year old macroeconomist who joined the White House as chief economist last year.

Ben Bernanke is clever, very clever. An exceptional student throughout his life, he won the South Carolina state spelling bee when he was in the sixth grade and earned the highest score of any South Caroline student when applied to college. He received his degree in economic history (summa cum laude) in 1975 from Harvard University and received his doctorate in economics four years later from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in more recent years was chairman of the Department of Economics at Princeton University.

According to John J. Xenakis, the journalist and analyst of world history, Bernanke is completely different from Greenspan. 

Sayd Xenakis: “Nowhere is the difference so apparent as when you contrast Bernanke’s ‘What me worry’ attitude toward economic bubbles with Greenspan’s genuine agony over the fact that his gut is tellinghim that we’re headed for a major financial crisis”


For and against Alan Greenspan

January 22, 2006

Alan Greenspan leaves his 18 year job of heading the Federal Reserve at the end of this month in the wake of mixed reviews.

His sharpest critics will echo the views of  Ravi Batra, professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, who contends that “the real impact of Greenspan’s influence (was to) unwittingly effect … a global crash and spread economic misery on our planet”. Greenspan leaves with millions without health insurance, mountains of consumer debt and a record number of personal bankruptcies.

Less strident critics complain that Greenspan has handed his successor, Ben Bernanke, a poisoned chaliceLess strident critics complain that Greenspan has handed his successor a poisoned chalice.

At the same time, records Irwin Stelzer,  a business adviser and director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute writing in the Sunday Times, Greenspan’s detractors stumble over the fact that he has racked up three notable successes………

Davos bloggers warned

January 21, 2006

If you are not going to the World Economic Forum in Davos which starts on 25 January (and that means most of us) then we will have the chance to get delegates’ feedback on the official blogging site

Whether we will get the full story is questionable because there are fairly tough guidelines for the bloggers. For example:

  • Bloggers’ posts will  be manually published by one of the Forum  editors. Opinions will not be censored, however posts that do not abide by the guidelines will not be published, particularly those that do not conform to the on/off the record policy
  • Bloggers’ name will appear under everything thet write and they will be responsible for your own words.  Vulgarity, profanity and discriminatory remarks will not allowed and offending posts will be deleted.  Self-promotion is discouraged.
  • If a session is off the record, bloggers are warned not to quote people people   without their permission – particularly if they are under the impression that their remarks are private or off the record.

I will be interested to see how the blogs compare with the newspaper reports of the Davos meetings.