Book review: 'Fubarnomics' by Robert E. Wright
We live in an era of economic anxiety. There have been other such eras, but this one seems particularly acute. Though the actual fortunes of Americans differ widely, there is a shared sense of something not right. That sentiment acts as a negative glue, binding Americans in a collective malaise.
With Stocks, It's Not the Economy
From the beginning of May until late June, stock markets worldwide declined sharply, with losses surpassing 10%. The first weeks of July brought only marginal relief. Ominous voices began to warn that the weakness of stocks was a direct response to the stalling of an economic recovery that has lasted barely a year. Anxiety over debt-laden European countries — most notably Greece — combined with stubbornly high unemployment in the U.S. to create a toxic but fertile mix that allowed concern to blossom into full-bloom fear.
Double-Dipping into the Past
In spite of data indicating that the U.S. economy has been modestly rebounding, there is growing fear that we are simply in a lull on the way to worse times ahead. That fear, rooted in history, is the product of both legitimate concern and ugly political opportunism.
A Double Dip Recession? Who Cares?
Though global equities have rallied modestly after a sharp plunge in May and June and companies have announced strong earnings, sentiment about the future remains gloomy. In response to intense concerns about a looming double-dip recession, business leaders have complained to White House officials that government policy is inhibiting job creation and that uncertainty about new regulations is discouraging them from investing their $1.8 trillion in accumulated corporate cash. On the flip side, Democrats in Congress effectively cornered the Republicans to extend unemployment benefits yet again, a direct response to the undeniable fact that the unemployed are facing a severe challenge to find work.