Congress members accuse Timothy Geithner of coddling Wall Street. Wall Street accuses him of abetting socialism. Yet when the history books are written, Geithner will be recognized as Barack Obama’s key lieutenant in the struggle to right the economy and fix the finance system. Economically, Geithner’s plan has worked better and more cheaply than anyone could have imagined a year ago. Politically, it threatens to undermine Obama’s presidency. Is Geithner a courageous public servant doing the right thing? Or have his years as a player in global finance made him loath to change an industry that needs fundamental reform?
Am I crazy, or is the commentariat ignoring our biggest economic threat?
The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come.
Newspaper articles are too long.
Commercial real estate is dominated by financial professionals, not hustlers looking for a quick flip. So why is the market about to melt down?
Saving hallowed ground from a Big Box invader
Finance guru Dave Ramsey wins followers with a simple message: find God and lose your credit cards.
Will the Great Recession finally end our misguided obsession with gross domestic product?
What do investment bankers, wedding planners, funeral directors, and movie-trailer voice-over artists have in common? High fees for high-stakes, once-in-a-lifetime deals.
Media executives lament what the Web has done to their business. But that complaint conveniently ignores the dismal financial performance of most media conglomerates in the pre-digital era. Until media companies are willing to get back to basics and jettison the flawed thinking that has guided them over the past two decades, they will continue to disappoint their shareholders.
The Sage of Omaha has redefined the idea of value investing. But will its principles survive his inevitable passing?
Last September, as Wall Street turned to rubble and panic threatened to come unleashed, Ken Lewis, the CEO of Bank of America, agreed to swallow one of the country’s most toxic investment houses. The deal was not altogether voluntary; as details have slowly emerged, the coercive role of the Fed and Treasury has loomed larger. What exactly happened in the weeks leading up to the merger? Did the deal save us all from economic apocalypse? And what does the government’s unprecedented role in it portend for the future of our economy?
Why The Economist is thriving while Time and Newsweek fade
Even in a depression, it seems, Americans won’t stop feathering their nests.
It feels like 1977 all over again: economy in the doldrums, crisis in the Middle East, and a charismatic new Democrat in the White House preaching the gospel of clean energy. Can Obama succeed where Carter did not? Yes—but only if we’ve learned the lessons of three decades of failure.
Michael Hirschorn talks to Bob Cohn about why the current age spells doom for Time and Newsweek, but not for The Economist
Michael Bierut analyzes the world’s best and worst banknote designs
Bankruptcy helps the undeserving—and that’s the way it should be.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s ailing CEO, is scheduled to return to work this month after a six-month leave, but investors are feeling skittish. Every time he sneezes, shares of Apple catch a cold. Can a CEO—even one as talented and visionary as Jobs—really make or break a corporation? Many business scholars have grown skeptical of the idea of chief executive as superhero. Cutting-edge research reveals that while some CEOs clearly do make a big difference, many are merely the most visible cogs in complex machines.
During the fashion boom that began in the 1980s, the relationship between fashion and its customers was the same as the one between art and its rich, often unlovely patrons: all that money sloshing around led to excessive consumption, but it also created a fertile soil in which works of beauty and integrity could develop. Last year that boom ended with breathtaking rapidity and finality. Luckily, a contingent of people at the heart of American fashion has for years been readying for post-crash style.
As the recession blows a gale, the world’s most expensive cruise ship nears completion.
The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.
For some people, spending just doesn’t come naturally—especially in a recession. Behavioral economists have a solution
With his 401(k) in ruins,
our correspondent visits investment gurus, hedge fund managers, and a freakish Arizona survivalist with one question in mind: How can the ordinary investor recover?