Policy Points

12.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

Around the Dial – Oct. 12

Economic policy reports and media stories of interest:

12.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

The Financial Crisis: One Year Later

Last fall, the U.S. financial system was in imminent danger of collapse. To stave off that failure, Congress, federal agencies and the Federal Reserve engineered a bailout. One year later, where do things stand? What have the American taxpayers received in exchange for the aid given to the financial sector? What reforms have been undertaken?

To answer those questions, the PBS show Bill Moyers Journal devoted last weekend’s episode to exploring the state of reform and whether or not the U.S. missed a chance to better the financial system.

Click here to view a discussion among Moyers, MIT economist Simon Johnson, and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

12.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

August Balance of Trade

The recession continued to affect America’s international trade in August. Once again, the U.S.  imported more goods and services than it exported, according to the most recent report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

trade 1The graph (left) shows the changes in American imports and exports that have occurred since the start of the recession in December 2007.

The recession has reduced American demand for foreign goods and services and foreign demand for American goods and services (though the fall in the dollar’s value likely is boosting American exports).

Compared to a year ago (seasonally adjusted), U.S. imports were 29 percent lower while American exports were 21 percent lower.

The rapid decline in imports has helped to reduce the U.S. trade deficit (graph, below). In August, the  U.S. imported $31 billion more than it exported. trade 2When imports of petroleum products are excluded, the trade gaps stood at  a lower $13 billion.

Compared to one year ago (seasonally adjusted), the non-petroleum trade deficit is 44 percent lower and the overall trade deficit is 50 percent lower.

09.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

Weekend Wonk Out

A round-up of policy reports from the week ending on 10/9:

09.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

Around the Dial – Oct. 9

Economic policy reports and media stories of interest: