The Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. For the moment, there is little suspense regarding the outcome: the Fed will “taper” its purchases of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) by $10 billion, reducing monthly purchases to $25 billion on its way to ending purchases in October.
New pushes in the network neutrality debate are threatening to place much of the Internet sector under a new burdensome regulatory regime that could hinder growth and insert regulatory uncertainty into countless companies, including small startups. The regime, known as Title II reclassification, would place broadband under telephone regulation in order to ban certain network practices. But the ensuing legal morass is not likely to achieve the intended goals. Meanwhile, the broader Internet sector could come under these proposed rules. Of all the proposals suggested, reclassification poses high costs with the little, if any, rewards.
Monday, July 21 marks the 4th anniversary of the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). As AAF points out, it has some serious drawbacks, both from the perspective of what it did and what it did not do.
Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook, which unexpectedly coincided with the 40th anniversary of the 1974 budget act that created the congressional budgeting process and the CBO itself. Was this an occasion for celebration and merriment? Not exactly.
The federal debt and deficits have disappeared from the public and political discourse. For this reason, it was surprising that the administration chose to release its Mid-Session Review of the Budget (MSR) — officially due by July 15 — this past Friday afternoon. Normally the White House reserves its attention-avoidance playbook for higher-profile issues.
For the ___th (insert your favorite integer bigger than 20) time the president has pivoted back to the economy in an attempt to change the subject from things that are going even worse — Libya, Syria, Iran, Ukraine, IRS, Supreme Court rulings, ObamaCare, VA….. In Austin yesterday he spiked the football.
"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” In this spirit, let me report that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asserted its right to garnish the wages of Americans. That is right.
The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is facing exhaustion, which would mean a cut in federal highway spending of over 25 percent on August 1. Unsurprisingly, this has a broad swath of stakeholders alarmed. As AAF has pointed out before, federal transportation funding in the U.S. is at a crossroads.
Friday’s jobs report was a second consecutive strong reading in the labor market. But what does this good news really tell us about the state of the recovery? After all, climbing a steep ant hill at the foot of a mountain does not mean that you are near the summit. Two good months of labor market reports do not signal that the American worker is out of the woods.
The horrific first quarter weather (remember the polar vortex!) clearly took its toll on the economy, and there was even a consensus that the initial estimate of a 1 percent decline would be moved lower. But -2.9 percent! Nobody saw that one coming.