Commodities Forex News & Analysis

Hedge Funds Forcing Corporations to Pay Shareholders Are Good for the Economy

Activist investors and institutional shareholders are increasingly forcing publicly held companies to return more cash to shareholders-that’s good for the economy. According an S&P Capital IQ study, S&P 500 firms returned about 36 percent of operating cash flow to investors through dividends and share repurchases in 2013, up from 18 percent a decade earlier. Critics [...]

Fed’s Tough Journey to Higher Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates later this year. Chairwoman Yellen has good reasons to push ahead, but she may not get very far in her quest to “normalize” rates. Inflation is heating up. Thanks to falling oil prices through January, consumer prices are down 0.2 percent from a year ago [...]

Fixing Income Inequality without the Minimum Wage

Demonstrators bent on forcing McDonald’s to dramatically raise wages are doomed to fail, but their rage is well founded and inequality requires much better solutions than boosting the minimum wage. McDonald’s sales and profits are already sinking, as Americans increasingly patronize competitors like Panera or Chipotle that offer a better quality meal and atmosphere, albeit [...]

The Poverty of Obama’s Foreign Policy

President Obama has proclaimed Hillary Clinton an effective Secretary of State. All along, it must have been the plan for Russia to seize the eastern Ukraine, Beijing to build airstrips and assert sovereignty over international shipping lanes in the South China Sea, and Iran to have nuclear weapons capabilities. It’s not wholly fair to contrast [...]

Congress Should Impose Tougher Fair Trade Rules for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Congress should not permit President Obama to negotiate a free trade agreement with Pacific nations without tough new rules to stop currency manipulation and other cheating on trade deals. Trade agreements eliminate tariffs and lower regulatory barriers to commerce-for example, restrictions on U.S. banks and information technology for companies operating in foreign markets. Those arrangements [...]

Fewer Jobs, Strong Dollar Put Fed in Awkward Spot

The economy added 223,000 jobs in April – well below the 260,000 averaged during 2014 – pitching cold water on forecasts of stronger economic growth this spring and complicating the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise interest rates. Unemployment was 5.4 percent, largely because so many prime working-age adults are still not employed or looking for [...]

Jobs Growth, Inflation Could Push Fed to Risk Recession

Friday, the Labor Department is expected to report the economy added 220,000 jobs in April and push the Federal Reserve toward raising interest rates. A harsh winter, West Coast port strike, stronger dollar and less drilling for oil and gas pushed down first quarter GDP growth to near zero, and the Fed will be looking [...]

Trade Deficit Stifles U.S. Growth, China’s Yuan at Center of Controversy

Tuesday, the Commerce Department is expected to report the March deficit on international trade in goods and services was $42 billion, up from $37.8 billion in February. Trade with Japan, Germany, South Korea, and China account for most of the trade imbalance, and their monetary and exchange rate policies pose a significant barrier to U.S. [...]

Why America Doesn’t Grow

In this century, economic growth has averaged 1.9 percent per year-down from the 3.4 percent the prior two decades-and anemic growth is a major force squeezing wages, the middle class and working poor. Conservatives and liberals blame too much or too little government. Either way, getting policy right is critical to restoring opportunity for everyone. [...]

Strong Dollar, Slow Growth Complicate Fed Plans to Hike Interest Rates

Federal Reserve policymakers meet Tuesday to consider when to raise interest rates, but the strong dollar and inflation risks put them between a rock and a hard place Facing tough structural problems and disappointing growth, monetary authorities in Europe, China and Japan have cut interest rates and taken extraordinary measures-such as aggressive quantitative easing and [...]

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