the lead indicator

Price Stability, the Real Estate Hedge and the Federal Debt

chandan silo for web

The Federal Reserve dropped a lead foot on monetary policy in late 2008 and intends to keep it there until you or someone you know finds a job.

If you’re reading The Commercial Observer, odds are you’re gainfully employed. The Fed’s attention is elsewhere, fixed on the more than 12 million Americans still lollygagging in the labor statistics. Price stability is the other half of the Fed’s mandate, but for now, employment is the larger challenge. Read More

the lead indicator

What JPMorgan Chase’s Loss Should Remind Us About Risk Measurement

Sam Chandan.

Last Thursday’s revelation of a multibillion-dollar trading loss at JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office has reverberated through Wall Street and Washington, stiffening the resolve of tighter regulation’s most outspoken advocates. For the weekend’s op-ed columnists and a herd of elected officials, the loss adds to prima facie evidence of a deep flaw in the current model of investment bank risk-taking.

In the case of a large institution, they argue that risk-taking intimates broader threats to stability that must be contained. For the bankers careful to adopt a contrite demeanor, it also represents an ill-timed misstep by their most credible ideological counterweight and champion of self-regulation. Read More

Planes Trains & Automobiles

Krugman: ARC Is Nation’s ‘Most Important Current Public Works Project’

“It was a destructive and incredibly foolish decision on multiple levels,” writes New York Times columnist and eminent economist Paul Krugman in today’s paper. He was referring to Governor Chris Christie’s decision to put the kibosh on ARC, a tunnel that would burrow under the Hudson River, dramatically increasing train capacity between New York Read More