Category Archives: Economy

Banks are lending again — finally

After keeping the vault door closed tight for the last several years, banks are finally loaning money again.

PAULSON+MONEY.jpg“With most major banks done reporting fourth-quarter earnings, one trend is clear: For the first time in a while, loan growth is back,” according to a Motley Fool report.

JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, SunTrust and other banks all report an increase in loan totals.

“A lot of these banks had been paring back on loans for the better part of three years. Not only has that trend turned around, but it’s happened quickly,” Motley Fool says.

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Corker pitches tax reform at Knoxville Economics Forum

For the most part, Sen. Bob Corker stuck to Republican talking points when he spoke today to the Knoxville Economics Forum.

The first-term Tennessee Republican said the fiscal crisis the nation faces requires tax reform, entitlement spending cuts and otherwise slashing the size of federal government.

And he made standard Republican cracks about health care reform, Dodd-Frank and the Environmental Protection Agency.

However, he made some in the mostly friendly audience squirm when he suggested a few tax reform specifics.

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Alcoa CEO: Spending cuts, revenue increase both needed

A long-term solution to the federal budget deficit must include spending cuts and increased
032610alcoa9_mc12884.JPG revenue,  Alcoa Inc. Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld told the CNBC Squawk Box crew this morning.

Kleinfeld called a downgrade in the US credit rating or a default  “a nuclear option” and urged Congress and the President must come to terms on a plan that “gets us over the hump.”

The current debate is sucking the air out of the economy, Kleinfeld said, but he’s optimistic  a deal will be reached on the debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline.

I’m not so confident a deal beating the deadline, but Kleinfeld is right about one thing it will take spending cuts and increased revenue to solve the deficit problem. Not just one, but both.

Kleinfeld Squawk Box interview: Getting America Back on Track

Debt ceiling controversy threatens Tenn. credit rating

The Associated Press reports that Moody’s Investor Service may downgrade Tennessee’s credit rating.

If that happens, it would cost state taxpayers plenty.

Avoiding a downgrade is another reason why Tennesseans should insist that Congress and the White House compromise on the debt ceiling issue.

Here’s why Moody’s has put Tennessee on notice:

 

 

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Is today the day for a debt ceiling deal?

With calls growing for Congress and the President to put aside politics, will the Washington politicians finally reach agreement on the debt ceiling controversy?

I doubt it. Look for a few more days of political theater. The deadline is still a couple weeks away, after all.

Eventually the pols will act. It’s hard for them to ignore political self-interest, but they have to do what’s best for the country, right?

Will they?

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Steve Forbes selective memory will fix economy

In the wake of the Fed’s dismal economic forecast, businessman and former presidential
forbes.co%232356.jpgcandidate Steve Forbes weighs in today with his recommendations for fixing the economy.

In an interview on The Daily Ticker, Forbes pitches a return to the gold standard, cutting corporate taxes and recalls the successful “pro-growth” policies of the Reagan era.

Forbes conveniently ignores the fact that Reagan raised taxes several times to keep the economy growing. Nonetheless, it’s always interesting to listen to Forbes view of the world.

Video: Want To Fix The Economy? Cut Taxes And Go Back To The Gold Standard, Says Steve Forbes

Photo: Steve Forbes/ Knoxville News Sentinel archives

America’s CEOs positive about economy

Despite the sky-is-falling attitude from the far right, America’s top CEOs remain optimistic about the economy.

A substantial majority of the top executives of America’s largest companies expect higher sales in the second half of the year. And, most of the CEOs’ companies plan to increase capital expenditures and hire more workers in the next six months.

Don’t take my word for it, check out the Business Roundtable’s second quarter 2011 CEO Economic Outlook Survey that was released today.

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Return to the gold standard?

The struggling ecomomy has generated a lot of buzz lately about a return to the gold standard.

Utah a few weeks ago passed a law that makes gold and silver coins minted by the U.S. government legal currency. The gold standard is a favorite Tea Party issue and some of the Republican presidential candidates are talking it.

Until the 1970s the dollar was tied to gold. Will restoring the greenback’s connection to the yellow metal magically fix the economy?

 

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CFOs optimistic about economy; worried about inflation

More than 60 percent of the chief financial officers of Southeast companies are optimistic about the U.S. economy, but inflation is a growing concern, according to a new survey released today by the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd., global audit, tax and advisory organization.

Sixty-one percent of the CFOs from the Southeast (Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia ) believe the economy will improve in the next six months.

That’s almost double the percentage of optimistic CFOs (31 percent) in the previous survey six months ago.

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