Could COVID-19 contribute to economic growth? In the United States, the upsurge in new-business applications indicates that despite its devastating effects on many small businesses, the pandemic may result in new startups being launched due to various causes, including the isolation and extra time for reflection resulting from closures. Although only a percentage of business applications result in business formations, the data suggests robust US business creation for 2020 overall.
With the prices of used cars and trucks recently experiencing their greatest increases in more than 51 years in the United States, US consumer prices rose solidly in August by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent compared with July. As such, prices have now risen for three consecutive months, with July and June levels each rising by 0.6 percent.
Throughout the past four decades, despite their differences, the United States and China have found a way to get along through a symbiotic trade relationship that maximizes their competitive advantages. Recent US concerns about national security and China’s dominance in manufacturing have strained relations, but now more than ever, with the pandemic threatening to unravel years of economic progress, the world’s two largest economies need to pull together.
The warning not to put all your eggs in one basket may apply to policymakers’ exclusive focus on boosting the demand side of economies. Monetary policies, in particular, are fixated on promoting growth in demand. But is the supply side of the equation being ignored in the process? Is this one-sided approach most likely to prosper the economies that are subjected to it, or is a change of focus needed?
The US housing market is on a roll, having recovered from the bleak days of crisis 10 years ago. But mainly due to the new regulatory environment, large financial institutions have veered away from mortgages. Independent mortgage banks have filled the vacuum, however, and doubled their share of the market in 10 years. What exactly are these banks, how do they operate, and what is their contribution to the industry?
In January, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, unveiled his $222.2-billion budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year for his state. “It’s often said that budgets are statements of values,” Newsom noted in his budget letter to the California State Legislature. “In America’s most populous and productive state, our state budget is more than that.
It’s certain that the framers of the Constitution of the United States were not thinking internet when they penned the supreme law of the land. But many parts of it, especially the First and Fourth Amendments, have grown in significance in the Digital Age. The First protects the citizen’s right to free speech; the Fourth, his or her right to privacy. Are both rights still secure in today’s interconnected world?
When considering the robustness of banks in the United States today, it may be a challenge to recall how perilously close many of them came to falling into the abyss a decade ago. Most of these banks are soaring above their international peers and bolstering national growth. What factors have most contributed to their recoveries—causing them to not just survive but excel a few short years after the Great Recession?
The push to transition from fossil fuels to renewables for power generation has been motivated largely by environmental concerns. But today, dollars and cents are increasingly supporting the transformation drive, as renewable-energy sources become much more cost-effective, even outmatching fossil fuels in value per dollar. Forecasts predict that new power generation through renewables—especially solar, wind, hydroelectric—will soon outstrip fossil fuels, attracting growing interest from governments, banks and investors.
The United States will soon break a record: the longest period of economic expansion, last set in the 1990s. But some don’t see this growth continuing much longer; they expect a recession, or even a depression, to extinguish the growth trajectory the world’s largest economy has been following for nearly a decade. Are these fears justified? Or are there as many reasons to expect the economy to continue to soar, shattering all records?