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    Making Europe Safer

    The European Union's decision to rescue Greece and to create a massive financial safety net for its other vulnerable debtors is a momentous event—though success is hardly guaranteed. Contrary to popular belief, the main purpose was not to save Greece but to prevent another financial panic, à la Lehman Brothers in late 2008, that might plunge the world economy back into recession. Sagging stock prices and a falling euro are warning signs.
  • Financial Reform Moves Through. What Now?

    And it's done: the Senate last night passed sweeping financial reform after months of debate, paving the way for the president to sign a major overhaul by July 4. ...
  • 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. ...
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    IDEO's David Kelley Wants to Redesign the Way You Think

    His company designed the first portable defibrillator and collaborated with Ford on remaking the "driver experience" for some of its 2010 vehicles. The company is responsible for such contemporary creations as the Palm V handheld organizer and the stand-up toothpaste tube. Its customers include Samsung, the Mayo Clinic, and HBO.
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    The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

    Matt Ridley sets out to prove that now is by far the best of times, and it’s only going to keep getting better. Even today’s greatest challenges, such as African poverty and climate change, are surmountable because of a remarkable human insight: that specialization and division of labor allow us to constantly improve our lot.
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    Retirement: Returning to Work as a Consultant

    The term “double dipper” hasn’t been around that long. According to Webster’s, it popped up around 1974 and referred to a rare breed of recently retired government employee who got hired back as an independent consultant.
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    BP Continues Stealth Public Relations During Its Crisis

    Knowing that its name and future are at stake, BP has had to walk a fine line. Doing nothing to quell public outrage over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill would quickly erode the company's image. But undertaking aggressive and overt marketing to downplay the effects of the incident could just as easily paint the company as more concerned with profits than ecological impact.
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    Richard Florida: Rethinking Blue-Collar Jobs

    Following the release of his latest tome, The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity, NEWSWEEK’S Nancy Cook asked Florida about his vision for “upgrading” the service economy. Excerpts:
  • 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.
  • Savings Rate Down as Americans Spend More

    Leading Indicator 2.7%The personal savings rate for Americans in March. The post-crash savings rate peaked at 6.4 percent in May 2009, and hasn't been below 3 percent since October 2008.
  • Will Splitting Offshore-Oil Regulator Prevent Future Accidents?

    On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar cut the Minerals Management Service in half, separating its duties of regulating the offshore oil and gas industry and of collecting billions in revenue from it. The move is a tacit acknowledgment that a conflict of interest is inherent to the agency’s dual mandate, and is an indictment of the decisions the MMS made that have arguably exacerbated the Deepwater Horizon disaster. With oil still leaking into the Gulf of Mexico (BP engineers are getting desperate), the MMS faces mounting criticism for its role in the mess, first for a 2003 decision not to require remote-control shutoff switches in the gulf as a last-resort safety mechanism in the event of a blowout, and second for granting BP an exemption from providing a detailed environmental report of the Deepwater Horizon site. ...
  • Surprise! 2009 Tax Bill Lowest in Nearly 60 Years

    Democratic leaders will no doubt be glad to see this report in this morning's USA Today. The paper ran the numbers, and by their calculations, Americans haven't seen such a low bill from the tax man since 1950. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 11 years before President Obama was born. Here's the key paragraph:...
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    Jobs: Where Will You Work in the Future?

    The year 2030 sounds far off. In a way, the number itself conjures images of silver unitards and hovercrafts, just as 2010 probably did to people back in 1990. A lot’s changed since then, but more has stayed exactly the same, which is part of the problem.
  • National Debt Should Not Be Ignored

    He did not like the question very much. Last Wednesday afternoon, at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s summit on fiscal responsibility, I asked Peter Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, whether unemployment would have to rise even further for the country to see our long-term economic challenges as a true, rather than a theoretical, crisis. Orszag winced slightly, which speaks well of him as a human being: it would be morally reprehensible to wish more people the pain of joblessness. “The unemployment rate seems pretty high to me,” he said, “and the share of the unemployed who are long-term unemployed is also quite elevated.”