Question: Who pays the rating agencies, like Moody’s? What is the source of their income? Paul Solman: That’s been the scandal. They’re paid by the issuers of the bonds and stocks they rate. They thus have a huge incentive not…

Editor’s Note: The government reported Wednesday that consumer prices fell in March, indicating a weakened demand for goods and services. But while this price drop raises the specter of deflation, many economists contend that the real risk to…

Question: How and why is the Fed creating $1 trillion in new funds to buy securities? Paul Solman: They’ve been calling Fed chairman Bernanke “Helicopter Ben” since he told conservative economics icon Milton Friedman, in a speech a few…

Question/Comment: My accountant told me the government’s gift of money for taxpayers (to help stimulate the economy?) is actually a loan that most middle/upper income citizens will have to repay within a year. Paul Solman: America spends more than…

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