The Business Desk

  • January 20, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    In its heyday it boasted nearly two million people; the world’s premier industry (autos); the world’s most popular music (Motown); and perhaps the country’s most prosperous black middle class. But Detroit’s population is down 50 percent; so are wages in … Continue reading

  • January 19, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    Name: Sam Question: I immensely enjoy your segments on PBS. I am intrigued by the concept of trade, and the argument presented by many economists that it raises the standard of living in a country’s economy even if it appears … Continue reading

  • January 18, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    The Chinese currency debate has developed a new twist in recent months: Chinese inflation. The argument, made by Columbia University economics professor Geng Xiao in an updated story of ours running on Tuesday’s broadcast, is that the rise in Chinese … Continue reading

  • January 14, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    This will not come as news to our Twitter followers (tweetees?), but we spent last weekend at the annual economics convention, held this year in Denver. Every January we buttonhole economists of various stripes and political persuasions to pose a … Continue reading

  • January 13, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    We’ve devoted a fair portion of our reporting over the past year to home ownership and foreclosure. Some of those stories ran again, with updates, during the last week of the year. Today comes the official tally for 2010: more … Continue reading

  • January 12, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    Name: Charles, San Francisco Question:The Fed Chairman and President Obama often complain that the banks are just not making enough private loans, while at the same time offering banks a strong incentive to buy risk-free T-Bonds with money borrowed from … Continue reading

  • January 11, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    Name: Paul, El Cerrito, Calif. Question: I have been a dedicated viewer of your segments on the NewsHour for years. Unfortunately, even with your fine reporting, I am still confused about the ramifications of the financial meltdown in 2008. I … Continue reading

  • January 10, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    Rounding out our series today, those of you considering strategic default might find particular encouragement from the web chat with law professor Brent White of the University of Arizona, who thinks it both legally and morally okay. “It’s interesting that … Continue reading

  • January 7, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    I was all set to label our monthly post on the unemployment data “Hold Your Horses” or “Not So Fast,” a warning not to overplay the apparently sizable drop in the official unemployment rate from 9.8 percent to 9.4. But … Continue reading

  • January 6, 2011   BY Paul Solman  

    More from the strategic default debate today. Economist Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago, also in our original story, argues there are damaging spillover effects (“negative externalities”) when homeowners strategically default. “By walking away, not only do you damage … Continue reading