Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's blog

Fed declares end to free market interest rates

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

It isn’t easy to earn interest income these days. Interest rates on government T-bills, banks’ savings accounts, and certificates of deposit are microscopic. You can blame our government and central bank. They have “ZIRPed” millions of American savers. Here are the details: Read More»

Germany, Greece & the fate of the euro

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

It has been over a year since I have written about the fragile condition of the European Union’s financial system. The financial crisis of a possible Greek default has been papered over since then, but now it is coming to a head again.

Greece again is teetering on the brink of default. This month, Greek debt was so unpopular that interest rates on one-year notes spiked to 98 percent. No country grows so vigorously that its government can afford to double its creditors’ money in one year, and certainly not a bankrupt government like Greece’s. Read More»

Obama’s latest jobs gambit

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

If you watched President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, you didn’t see anything new. He did what he does best — campaign for re-election and pay lip service to private enterprise and fiscal responsibility while proposing more top-down economic planning that (despite his claims to the contrary) will surely plunge the government more deeply into debt; that is, if Congress gets stampeded into passing the proposed “American Jobs Act.” Read More»

Gold’s meteoric rise: What it means

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

The price of gold has gone on a tear this summer, from slightly under $1,500 per ounce to well over $1,800 per ounce, and it looks like it wants to go higher. What gives?

Well, if you bought gold last spring, you’re looking pretty smart. And if you bought gold a decade ago at $300 per ounce, you’re looking like a whiz. Read More»

Big deal or no deal?

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

As the Aug. 2 deadline for a debt-ceiling deal drew near, many expected a big deal that would significantly change the direction of federal fiscal policy. After weeks of tumultuous negotiations, partisan bickering, and impassioned histrionics, the agreement that finally emerged was, to put it bluntly, no big deal.

Ironically, the most accurate assessment I read about it was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s comment that it “was not that great overall because it simply delayed the adoption of a more systemic solution.” Read More»

Bernanke and the Potemkin economy

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

On July 11, The Center for Vision & Values posted my article decrying the insulting name-calling directed toward Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke. The very next day, Bernanke made me question my forbearance by telling Congress that a third round of “quantitative easing” or “QE3” could be a near-term option. Read More»

Solutions for the ‘tax gap’

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

In 2010, there was a “tax gap” — i.e., the difference between federal taxes owed and those actually paid — of $410–$500 billion.

Some of the gap stems from the complexity of the tax code. Much of it, though, is deliberate: self-employed individuals working for cash, table-servers under-reporting tips, taxpayers claiming unauthorized credits and deductions. Read More»

The high-stakes showdown over Medicare reform

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

go broke in the year 2024 — five years sooner than was projected just last year.

The millions of Americans who have been counting on Medicare to be a reliable, stable guarantor of affordable healthcare in their senior years should be asking themselves, “Who is responsible for this predicament?” The short answer is “lots of people,” but let’s start by looking in the mirror. Read More»

Meet the unknown energy superpower

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

Saudi Arabia has long been the dominant producer of petroleum on the planet. Nature endowed the Arabian Peninsula with gigantic deposits of this vital source of energy. Many of us have lamented the quirk of nature that placed much-needed oil in the most geopolitically unstable region in the world. Read More»

Inflation: Food, fuel and the Fed

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

As Americans increasingly feel the pinch of higher prices for food and fuel, the Federal Reserve’s QE2 policy of creating more money has been called into question. Asked if the Fed bore some responsibility for these vexing price increases, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke essentially replied, “It’s not our fault.” Instead, Bernanke blamed the price increases on “global supply and demand conditions.”

Is Chairman Bernanke correct? To use a well-known phrase: Not exactly. Read More»

Recent Comments