In the past few weeks, I’ve chronicled the news of the week in this space. From the fight over the debt ceiling to stock market gyrations and crisis in Europe, there was so much urgent news to cover. But I’d also like this column to present some unexpected and offbeat material that might help you get a different perspective on the events of the week—or escape the week altogether. With those goals in mind, here’s this edition of the Weekly Roundup.
Writing in the New York Times, Berkeley economist Christina Romer—a former member of the Obama economic team—reminded readers of the lessons of the Great Depression. Her argument: Fiscal stimulus can help a depressed economy recover, while contraction can kill growth.
I tend to be skeptical of advice in money magazines, but I thought this piece in Smart Money on “5 People Who Should Avoid the Stock Market” was, well, smart. Do you recognize yourself in any of the descriptions?
One of the most talked-about and re-tweeted pieces of the week came from the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett. On the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, Buffett urged government to “stop coddling the super-rich” (including himself) with low taxes.
Also grabbing headlines this week was Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry, who appeared to threaten Ben Bernanke with execution. Ok, he was being hyperbolic. But the response from both Democrats and a number of Republicans came fast and (literally) furious. Karl Rove said, “You don’t accuse the chairman of the Federal Reserve of being a traitor,” while Larry Summers said, “This may be the least responsible statement in the modern history of presidential politics.”
Speaking of politics, this piece analyzing the Tea Party by political scientists David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam has some pretty interesting economic implications.
S & P put the government on the hot seat, and now the government is returning the favor. Of course, these investigations don’t happen overnight, but the timing is awkward at best.
Meanwhile, markets seesawed again. Where are we going from here? Who knows? But the Curious Capitalist does frame the question succinctly: “The volatile markets,” he writes, “are now a tug of war between those who think global growth will tank and those who see stocks as a bargain.”
I was fascinated by this story in the Economist about a Georgia company that’s booming by making chopsticks for export to China. Is this a sign of economic resilience, the new world order or both?
And here’s some food for thought. This restaurant review by GQ’s Alan Richman was unquestionably the week’s most controversial article in the foodie world, and for many readers it raised the question: Is service in San Francisco better than in New York?