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Consumer spending hit a 17-month low in February, hit by the credit crisis, job cuts and soaring energy costs. But a key inflation gauge remained tame.
Japanese annual inflation hit a decade-high 1.0 percent in February, but the credit crisis and a stalling Japanese economy mean the Bank of Japan is still seen as more likely to cut interest rates this year than raise them.
As food prices surge, America’s supermarkets are also feeling the pain. While consumer food prices are up five percent, wholesale prices have soared a whopping 20 percent.
The U.S. economy seems to be slipping into recession and the Federal Reserve must cushion the pain and make it as brief as possible, two Fed policymakers said.
The dollar rallied Thursday after suffering steep losses in the last two sessions, rising on data showing the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter in line with market expectations.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on Thursday for banks to declare the full extent of the damage to their operations caused by the credit crunch.
I mean, about inflation for you and me and Bobby McGee. Not inflation as bankers see it, as economists see it, as central bankers see it. Not about CPIs and PPIs and HICPs. Not about price-adjusted, calendar-adjusted and average-workday-weighted statistics, which economists so fondly call "real" inflation.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will ask British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for help in getting Washington to prop up the ailing dollar, but Britain has usually shunned managing exchange rates.
The Bank of Japan still has its sights set on higher interest rates in the future, although it will pursue a flexible policy looking at developments in Japan's economy and global markets, two members of the central bank's policy board said on Thursday.
Unrealized losses on Japan's $1 trillion foreign currency reserves amount to about 18.5 trillion yen when the dollar is around 100 yen, Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga said on Thursday.
Some of the top universities in the country are slashing or eliminating tuition costs, expanding financial aid and generally rethinking the affordability equation.
Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on Wednesday that U.S. interest rates are now "accommodative" and should help to support stronger growth in the second half of 2008.
The steadily rising costs of higher education – roughly twice the inflation rate – makes it a permanent part of the iron cross of American worries, joining concerns about retirement, health care and jobs.
The dollar fell for a second straight session Wednesday after an unexpected drop in durable goods orders heightened worries about the health of the U.S. economy and backed expectations of further interest rate cuts.
Orders for big-ticket manufactured goods fell for a second straight month in February, a worse-than-expected performance that provided more evidence of a slumping economy.
Top central bankers warned on Wednesday there was no end in sight yet to the global credit crunch as German banking giant Deutsche said the crisis threatened its profit target for this year.
Tighter lending conditions have made the Bank of England more inclined to cut interest rates as the global credit crunch enters a new and difficult phase, Mervyn King, the central bank's governor, said on Wednesday.
The European Commission expressed concern on Wednesday about the euro's rise, saying it added to the strengthening headwinds facing euro zone growth, but stuck to its 1.8 percent forecast for 2008 economic growth.
Japan's exports rose a little more than expected in February from a year earlier as solid shipments of Japanese goods to Asia and Europe made up for a fall in exports to the United States.
The dollar retreated broadly Tuesday, posting its steepest loss against the euro in two weeks, hurt by concerns about the health of the U.S. economy and the global financial sector.