Fiscal Follies Continue

On Wednesday there were discussions between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, but the White House also expressed a willingness to go over the cliff if needed. In addition, President Obama reiterated his insistence that tax rate hikes be included in any agreement. Looking at the future, Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, said that if a solution to the long-term debt could be achieved, he would be willing to accept an increase in tax rates.

“Personally I know we have to raise revenue. I don’t really care which way we do it. Actually, I would rather see the rates go up than do it the other way because it gives us a greater chance to reform the tax code and broaden the base in the future,” Coburn said on MSNBC.

While Republicans have indicated they are willing to deal on tax rates, they  flatly rejected the proposal by the Obama administration that the debt ceiling be incorporated into a “grand bargain,” making it easier for the administration to lift the debt ceiling.

The demand is certain to complicate the already complicated fiscal cliff negotiations.

In News That Comes As Little Surprise
Of all the European Union nations, Greece is most often perceived as being “corrupt,” according to the Corruption Perceptions Index.

View a map of the most and least corrupt nations.

Have central banks become too political?
“Increasingly it looks like the model of the independent, technocratic central bank is on the way out — and will be replaced by direct control of monetary policy by governments. And that will change the rules of the game for investors,” writes Matthew Lynn of MarketWatch.

“Central bankers used to be grey, colorless figures. Alan Greenspan may have been well known during his long reign at the Federal Reserve but his colleagues in the global central banking fraternity were fairly obscure figures even in their own homes, never mind the rest of the world. The ordinary person would not expect to know their names,” he adds.

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