Stories by Daniel Gross

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    Goldman's $550 Million Settlement: Its Best Trade Ever

    Goldman Sachs has long been known for being a sharp trader. And the settlement announced with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday seems like a great trade. Goldman agreed to pay $550 million to settle charges that it had misled investors about mortgage-related products. How is this a smart trade for Goldman, its top executives, and its shareholders? Let us count the ways.
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    The Miracle Deficit Cure? Growth.

    On Tuesday, the Treasury reported the federal government's receipts and expenses for June. The upshot: through the first nine months of fiscal 2010 (which started last fall), the federal government has run a $1 trillion deficit.
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    Why a Higher Postal Rate Is Good for the Economy

    When the U.S. Postal Service loses money, it's effectively subsidizing inefficient business models and operations. And less mail would be better for the economy, better for businesses and consumers, and better for the environment.
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    Why We Don't Need to Fear Deflation

    The talk about the economy in recent weeks has been somewhat deflating. There's the ongoing crisis in Europe, disappointing jobs numbers, a falling stock market-and the prospect of deflation itself.
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    Does Anyone Care About Unemployment Anymore?

    The Federal Reserve doesn’t seem to care much about high unemployment. Apparently, very few other people in Washington do, either. The corporate sector has returned to rude health, with improved balance sheets and tons of cash. It has helped lead the recovery. But without paychecks for the mighty American consumer, the recovery will seem anemic.
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    Holding On to the Perks

    As we plow through the legislation to figure out the winners and the losers of the new financial rules, it’s worth pondering what Wall Street got out of the crisis. Most of the reaction, in fact, nods to it being a boon to the banks. And some of those benefits will remain intact even after the legislation passages. Here’s a look at the handouts given to Wall Street.
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    Does the Fed Really Care About Unemployment?

    Ben Bernanke is standing pat on monetary policy and doing nothing new to boost jobs. Here’s why he may go down in history as the Federal Reserve chairman who won the crisis but lost the recovery.
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    BP May Suffer Harsher Treatment Because of Its Roots

    Ever since oil began gushing from the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has become as British as Wimbledon, as foreign as football played with a round ball. As a result, it's possible the company will suffer harsher treatment at the hands of consumers and lawmakers.
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    Global Economy: Is Brazil Finally Booming?

    "Look out for the Brazilians and the Indians," the CEO of a large Fortune 500 consumer products company told me at a lunch a few months ago. And he wasn't talking about the World Cup. He was responding to a question about where the next wave of foreign investors in U.S. assets will come from. A few years ago, dealmakers were abuzz—and many analysts were fearful—about the prospect of sovereign wealth funds from the Persian Gulf and China shifting their strategies from buying U.S. government bonds to purchasing U.S. companies. Since many of those bubble-era deals exploded, the sovereign wealth funds have become much less aggressive about entering the U.S. market.
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    BP—Blah Performance

    President Obama's Oval Office speech about the Gulf oil spill was almost enough to make you miss President George W. Bush. Maybe not the actual presidency of George W. Bush, but at least the platonic ideal of the presidency of George W. Bush—the M.B.A. president, the chief executive as CEO.
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    The Politics of Parsimony

    Politicians worldwide are buying votes by cutting spending. Slow-growing, highly indebted countries in Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal) see austerity as a way to avoid the fate of Greece. Others are reacting to fears of stimulus-induced inflation.
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    Why Does BP CEO Tony Hayward Still Have a Job?

    Despite being in charge as BP has failed—and failed, and failed again—to stop the flow of crude oil into the Gulf and some poor turns of phrase ("I want my life back") the BP leader may have the most secure corporate seat in Great Britain.
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    Gross: The True Costs of 'Tough' Oil

    The ongoing debacle in the Gulf of Mexico is a sign of many things. We’ve entered an age in North America when the production of energy, especially from fossil fuels, comes with ever-more-expensive environmental tradeoffs.
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    The Economic Recovery Is Real

    To a degree, the crisis of confidence that began in the summer of 2008 never really ended. Why fears of a second recession are overblown.
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    How Should We Punish BP?

    Newsweek and Slate readers offer their most creative, incisive, and sadistic ideas for how the oil company should pay for the devastating spill.
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    Don't Worry, Keep Spending

    Are the rich coming back? Just in time for the premiere of Sex and the City 2, there are signs that the orgy of luxury shopping that made the latter years of the credit bubble so much fun are back.
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    Should We Worry About Europe?

    The troubles in Europe bring some short-term good news for the United States—and not just the humbling of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Yet, still there is reason to be worried, at least a little.
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    Inflation Is Overblown

    We’ve got other economic concerns that deserve our immediate attention
  • Reform Without Punishment

    The Senate's passage Thursday night of far-reaching financial reform is being portrayed as a big loss for the financial sector. "No End to Banks' Capitol Punishment," reads the headline in The Wall Street Journal. But everything's relative. The legislative action is a defeat in large measure because Wall Street wanted no reform. And it seems like harsh punishment because the default situation for the last 30years has been that the financial sector gets precisely the regulation it wants. ...
  • Economy: Can the Recovery Keep on Trucking?

    Whether you are an economic pessimist or optimist, you have to consider all the data—not just the data you like. The problem is sussing out which data points to trust. Generally, measurements of actual activity are better than surveys about attitudes or behavior. What's more, many data series come out after the fact and are subject to revision, which makes them less reliable when it comes to gauging what's taking place right now.
  • Measures to Save the Greek Economy May Worsen the Problem

    Thursday afternoon, the markets went on something of a joyride. Actually, it was more like a distress ride. After plummeting more than 900 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down about 3 percent. Why? It's unclear. CNBC said traders warned of a "black hole effect." A chief culprit, as Reuters pointed out, seemed to be fears of financial contagion from Greece, where residents are engaging in the ancient pastime of rioting.