Debt Ceiling

Why I Dislike Quantitative Easing?

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist

In a previous blog I explained the Federal Reserve’s traditional tool of reducing the Fed Funds rate to stimulate a weak economy.  The stimulation impact is the result of the relationship between the Fed Funds rate and the Prime borrowing rate charged by banks for business and consumer loans. … Read More

Consumer Debt: Must Look Behind the Numbers

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist

For a couple of years prior to the Great Recession, I shared my debt concerns during my annual Economic and Market Update presentation at the annual SRI Conference. My concern stemmed from the rising use of consumer debt to fuel a national lifestyle of “living beyond one’s means.”

Much of the economic debate of the time focused on the increasing Federal debt, but my concern centered on the consumer.… Read More

What Caused the Cyprus Banking Crisis?

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist

While there were many contribution factors to the crisis in Cyprus, I want to focus on the most obvious cause—the basic accounting formula.  Assets=Liabilities + Capital. Couple the formula with lack of regulation and the groundwork is laid for a banking crisis.… Read More

A Penny for Your Thoughts

By Mel Miller CFA, Chief Economist

“A Penny for Your Thoughts” (acoustic guitar), by Peter Frampton, probably needs to be adjusted by the cost of making a penny. Since 2006, it has cost the Treasury more than a penny to make a new penny.… Read More

Fiscal Cliff Deal and Its Impact on the Environment

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 passed by Congress on January 1st and signed into law almost immediately by President Obama, delayed a scheduled 8.2% cut to non-defense discretionary spending until March 1, 2013.

On top of skirting major budget cuts, this legislation avoided some of the most harmful aspects of the “fiscal cliff” while extending financial incentives for some environmentally beneficial programs.… Read More