Howard Schneider
Howard Schneider
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Can Joe Biden recreate the U.S. economy he grew up with?

Can Joe Biden recreate the U.S. economy he grew up with?

By (This April 1 story fixes typo in 10th graph)WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Joe Biden will almost certainly be the last U.S. president born as a member of the “silent generation” demographic group who were children during World War Two, came of age in an economic boom that built middle class wealth, and cemented the role of the United States as the world’s leading industrial power.Over the latter half of his life, Biden, 78, saw the share of national wealth going to that middle class fall and the gains from U.S. growth concentrate in a handful of regions. Now, with a roughly $2 trillion...

Apr 1
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U.S. COVID response could have avoided hundreds of thousands of deaths - research

U.S. COVID response could have avoided hundreds of thousands of deaths - research

By (Refiles to add dropped letter in headline)WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States squandered both money and lives in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it could have avoided nearly 400,000 deaths with a more effective health strategy and trimmed federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars while still supporting those who needed it.That is the conclusion of a group of research papers released at a Brookings Institution conference this week, offering an early and broad start to what will likely be an intense effort in coming years to assess the response to the worst...

Mar 25
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Powell's Econ 101: Jobs not inflation. And forget about the money supply

Powell's Econ 101: Jobs not inflation. And forget about the money supply

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a congressional hearing dominated by talk of the pandemic and what may be needed to heal the economy from its effects, Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday had a subtle message for U.S. senators evaluating their options.Toss out the college textbooks, because the world has changed.The unemployment rate? Forget it. The Fed only cares about the number of people working and how to get it higher, not an age-old statistic that, for all its familiarity, overlooks a key group, namely those who stopped looking for work during the pandemic and need to be brought...

Feb 23
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The Trump years: Tax cuts and trade wars overshadowed in the end by a virus

The Trump years: Tax cuts and trade wars overshadowed in the end by a virus

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - From trade wars to tax cuts, from ultra-low unemployment to record highs on stock markets and a high-volume feud with his own Federal Reserve chief, President Donald Trump took the U.S. economy on a wild ride even before the coronavirus drove it off a cliff.How to sum it up?The answer as of February 2020 would be different than the answer today. A year ago, the U.S. economy seemed to have settled into a sweet spot of steady growth, low unemployment, low inflation and, finally, rising wages. Trump may have hated the Fed, but in the end the Republican president and...

Jan 19
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Spared early on, 'Trump country' now leads in coronavirus cases, deaths

Spared early on, 'Trump country' now leads in coronavirus cases, deaths

By (Reuters) - In the early days of what became a historic public health crisis, the novel coronavirus was, in the lexicon of U.S. politics, a “blue state” problem - centered in East and West Coast areas, particularly New York and New Jersey, that voted against President Donald Trump in 2016.It remained so for weeks, and that fact defined what became battle lines between mask wearers and skeptics, and between those convinced restrictions on commerce were needed to save lives versus those who wanted less government intervention.Now, though, it is squarely a “Trump country” issue.Trump trails...

Oct 27
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Fed in three voices: recession, bubbles, and 'in a good place'

Fed in three voices: recession, bubbles, and 'in a good place'

By , (Reuters) - After delivering a split-decision rate cut earlier this week, U.S. Federal Reserve officials put their divisions on full display Friday, with warnings of a slowdown on the one hand and financial risks on the other bookending talk of how well things are going.Central bankers are often called on to speak with one voice, but the Fed now has three - those ready to reduce rates even lower to ward off economic risks, those who prefer to stand pat and watch the data for now, and those warning that the Fed may already be fueling a credit bubble.“The economy is in a good place,” Fed...

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September 20, 2019
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Fed's policymakers diverge on outlook for inflation, economy

Fed's policymakers diverge on outlook for inflation, economy

By , , (Reuters) - Federal Reserve policymakers charged with guiding the economy through its worst collapse in a century diverged broadly this week over what to expect in coming months, with narratives of an unexpectedly fast recovery vying against warnings of a resurgence in the coronavirus pandemic and deepening economic malaise.The central bank’s monetary policy is already set on a loose and supportive course, and in broad contours at least is unlikely to change much for the next few years.But in a series of starkly contrasting public statements, policymakers offered differing views on...

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Sep 25
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Government aid, stock gains push U.S. wealth to pre-pandemic levels, Fed says

Government aid, stock gains push U.S. wealth to pre-pandemic levels, Fed says

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A rebounding stock market and massive federal aid payments pushed the net worth of U.S. households back to pre-coronavirus levels in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve reported on Monday, with savings accounts and equity portfolios both rising sharply despite the pandemic.The U.S. central bank’s latest quarterly look at wealth and income offered further evidence of how the quick mobilization by U.S. lawmakers and the Fed in March and April, including approval of small business loans and $600 per week in extra unemployment insurance, threw a temporary safety...

Sep 21
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Trump needs suburban voters. But they aren't who he thinks they are

Trump needs suburban voters. But they aren't who he thinks they are

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - America’s suburbs were key to Donald Trump winning the presidency in 2016, and he and his 2020 Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, are battling for votes there ahead of the Nov. 3 election. The Republican president highlighted his focus with recent comments about "suburban housewives welcoming his protection and a Wall Street Journal on Sunday that warned of a "dystopian vision" of low-income housing. U.S. suburbs were initially well-defined white enclaves on the edge of cities when they sprang up during the . The families that lived in them were often...

August 18, 2020
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When Piracy Threatened to Destroy the East India Company | National Review

When Piracy Threatened to Destroy the East India Company | National Review

surprised to learn from Steven Johnson’s Wikipedia entry that he majored in semiotics at Brown University. At his best — in the books , and — he is an indefatigable, astute extrapolator. Johnson delivered on the promise of those subtitles, revealing how currently overlooked historical episodes were, in fact, momentous inflection points (to use a trendy cliche). The author attempts the same kind of feat in . The book is, as usual, well written and researched, but it’s frustrating, not only because Johnson’s presumably portentous prototypes didn’t strike me as particularly compelling, but...

August 15, 2020
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