Archive for October, 2013

Families who can’t afford diapers sometimes re-use disposable diapers. That practice leads to many other problems for families living in poverty, according to a Yale study. Host Arun Rath talks with Joanne Goldblum, a social worker and an author of the study. She is also the founder and executive director of the National Diaper Bank Network.

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via Economy http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=241222085&ft=1&f=1017

SINCE the start of the financial crisis Britain’s economy has been on a roller-coaster ride. GDP sank 7.2% over six consecutive quarters in 2008 and 2009. It bounced back strongly in 2010 and 2011 (see chart, below-left). But by late 2011 the economy had tumbled into a double-dip downturn, thanks to strong headwinds from the continent and domestic austerity measures; the economy grew just 0.2% in 2012.But lately the news has improved, buoying the spirits of George Osborne, Britain’s beleaguered Chancellor of the Exchequer. On October 25th the Office for National Statistics announced that the British economy grew 0.8% in the third quarter: a 3.6% annual rate and the fastest pace since 2010. In the first nine months of the year, the economy grew 1.8%, beating consensus forecasts. Analysts are expecting the spell of good growth to continue, unlike the “dead-cat bounce” of 2010 when growth was not sustained. Consumer and business surveys are upbeat; people think the economy will continue expanding rather than stutter again. Citigroup, a bank, now expects Britain’s economy to grow by as much as 3% in 2014.Strong growth may boost the public finances, but the news is not all good for Mr Osborne. In the 2011 budget he promised a recovery that would rebalance the British economy towards manufacturing: “a Britain held aloft by the march of the makers”. But something appears …

via Economic Crisis http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/10/britains-gdp-figures?fsrc=rss

WHILE the euro zone has been slowly emerging from recession, two European countries outside the club have, so far this year, enjoyed speedy economic recoveries. The economies of Britain and Poland have both rebounded from growth dips last year, exceeding most analysts’ expectations for 2013 (see chart). As recently as last December consensus forecasts suggested that Britain would only grow 1.1% this year. That looks far too pessimistic; the British economy grew almost that much in the first six months of the year alone. Experian Economics, a consultancy, has even suggested growth could be as high as 2.1% in 2013. Poland’s rebound has also taken many international forecasters by surprise. On October 21st, the Central Statistics Office for Poland confirmed that annual growth had reached 0.8% by the end of June, in contrast to worries of persistent zero growth last year. Growth rates appear to be accelerating as well. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s forecast for Polish GDP growth, of 0.9% for 2013, now seems likely to be exceeded. Growth may reach 2.2% in 2014.Floating exchange rates have helped Britain and Poland outperform their neighbours. Britain’s terrible years between 2007 and 2009 could have been much worse if the pound had not dropped in value by 25%. British GDP fell much less than in Ireland, a country inside the euro zone with …

via Economic Crisis http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/10/economic-recoveries?fsrc=rss

CREDIT where credit is due; Paul Krugman anticipated this where many others did not:Since late 2007 the monetary base has risen more than 300 percent, while GDP and consumer prices have risen less than 20 percent. And no, the disconnect is not all due to the 0.25 percent interest rate the Fed pays on reserves.Huge growth in a central bank’s balance sheet need not imply runaway inflation. But it seems strange to me to pivot from that understanding to the broad claim that Milton Friedman misdiagnosed the Great Depression:You can argue that the Fed could have done more — it could have expanded its balance sheet even further, and/or moved into riskier assets, and/or done more to change expectations. But I don’t see how you can deny that making monetary policy effective has been far harder since we hit the ZLB than it was before, and that this retroactively casts great doubt on Friedman’s claims that the Fed could easily have prevented the Great Depression.Wait, wait, wait. No, it doesn’t. There is a school of thought that one might call “naive Friedmanism”, in which money supply growth is the only monetary variable that matters, and it’s easy enough to find examples of cases where that doesn’t pan out. But identifying that as the main contribution of “A Monetary History” or of Friedman’s monetary economics work more generally strikes me as profoundly unfair. Friedman …

via Economic Crisis http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/10/monetary-policy-2?fsrc=rss

VENEZUELA’S president faces an economic crisis and an increasingly powerful opposition. This month he asked the National Assembly for extended powers. Our correspondents explain why

via Economic Crisis http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/10/maduro-seeks-rule-decree?fsrc=rss

Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund, shares stories of how “patient capitalism” can bring sustainable jobs, goods, services and dignity to the world’s poor.

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via Economy http://www.npr.org/2013/10/18/235824059/is-patient-capitalism-the-answer-to-poverty?ft=1&f=1017

Haves And Have-Nots

Posted: October 18, 2013 in poverty
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Income inequality is at an all-time high between the haves and the have-nots. But can the poverty gap potentially be eliminated? In this hour, TED speakers share some big ideas about inequality and new ways we might achieve prosperity for all.

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via Economy http://www.npr.org/2013/10/16/235781665/haves-and-have-nots?ft=1&f=1017