The Big Bad Bankers, and Their Bonuses, Are Back
Banks are back. JPMorgan Chase recently announced that it earned $4.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, nearly 50% over the previous year. Its CEO, Jamie Dimon, said he hoped the bank would soon return to paying meaningful dividends to shareholders, having all but suspended them in 2008. Meanwhile, in Britain, Barclays chief Bob Diamond received a thrashing in a parliamentary debate over bonuses after he declared, "There was a period of remorse and apology for banks. I think that period needs to be over." He'll likely pocket about $13 million this year, thanks in part to the tidy profit Barclays made from the remnant of Lehman Brothers it purchased for pennies on the dollar.
The Economic Roots Of the Revolt
The mass movement engulfing Egypt exposes a fact that has been hiding in plain sight: In a decade during which China has brought more people out of poverty at a faster rate than ever in human history, in a period of time where economic reform has been sweeping the world from Brazil to Indonesia, Egypt has missed out.
Where the Jobs Aren't: Grappling with Structural Unemployment
You've read the good news. The official unemployment rate has leveled off. But that is like saying of a patient on life support that at least he isn't losing any more blood. Job creation still isn't what it should be, and the time it takes seekers to get a new job still hovers around a record 35 weeks. Back in February 2009, when President Obama unveiled the nearly $800 billion stimulus package, he said, "My economic-recovery plan ... will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years." Two years later, new jobs are few and far between.