Articles from Steve Adams
Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen got it half right yesterday when she answered a question about how the Fed can help reduce disparities in unemployment in the states. During Dr. Yellen’s testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services, she was questioned by a congressman from Minnesota about what the Fed can do to address the yawning gap between white and black unemployment in Minneapolis. Unemployment among blacks in Minneapolis was 14 percent in December, while only 2.9 percent for whites.
Here’s hoping that 2016 brings back an economy that relies more on business fundamentals, and less on the machinations of technocrats in Washington. With the drama of the first Fed rate hike behind us, perhaps business leaders and investors can focus on the things that make American companies competitive for the long haul.
The C. Lowell Harriss Award demonstrates that important business innovation comes from many places beyond Silicon Valley and the biopharma centers around Boston, San Francisco and San Diego. America’s community and state colleges are increasingly taking on the challenge of helping their students turn entrepreneurial aspirations into real businesses, and it’s paying off.
I recently heard a news report on the radio about a new MIT study that finds that the U.S. government is not spending enough on research and development, and it’s putting us at a competitive disadvantage. More detail on this was available from the Wall Street Journal story (“U.S. Is Faulted for Risking Edge in R&D,” Robert McMillan, 4/27/2015). This news comes as Congress is considering the R&D budget.
What both these stories failed to mention is that MIT is a major recipient of government research funds, which may have colored the study findings.
It is breathtaking to read about Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen berating Wall Street banks, as reported by Victoria McGrane in today’s Wall Street Journal, “to follow the law and to operate in an ethical manner.” Ms. Yellen’s speech to the Citizens Budget Commission in New York City is an apparent reference to the various probes of banks' misdeeds around interest-rate manipulation, tax avoidance and other unnamed sins.
The purpose of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, is to make health insurance more affordable for those with little or no coverage. Although the law includes some provisions intended to control costs, the most immediate impact to consumers will be on insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs for health care and on access to insurance.