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: Why is deflation so bad? I have certainly benefited from the drop in gas prices, so I wonder what is wrong with things becoming cheaper in general? And wouldn’t that make up for previous inflation? Paul Solman: Another good…

Question: When we hear comparisons between today’s economy and that of the Great Depression, I wonder: Had as many people and institutions been as highly leveraged then as now? Were personal and institutional debt as high then as they are…

Question: Why were pension funds allowed to “invest” in a hedge fund? Hedge funds are nothing more than gambling. Paul Solman: Because pension funds are supposedly big enough and therefore sophisticated enough to know what they’re doing and take considered…

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