Policymakers are overlooking a huge opportunity to jumpstart consumer spending. Average credit card interest rates are still a high 14%.
FORTUNE -- Judging by how economists and policymakers appear to have locked in on fixing housing prices and mortgage burdens, consumer spending looks to be the best bet for jumpstarting the economy.
Policymakers are ignoring a huge opportunity on that front, failing to see another burden that caps the spending by the MOREBrendan Coffey, Contributor - Oct 28, 2011 10:28 AM ET
Hedge fund managers have a lot of catching up to do.
FORTUNE -- As odd as it may seem, an awful third quarter for the hedge fund industry, coupled with weak fund manager earnings in recent years, could kickstart a year-end rally.
Hedge funds posted their fourth-worst quarter in industry history in the recently finished third quarter, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc. That puts the industry down an average of 6% MOREBrendan Coffey, Contributor - Oct 27, 2011 10:40 AM ET
Down sharply and most likely staying down.
FORTUNE -- With Netflix down sharply today, you may be tempted to jump online and buy shares of the ailing video provider. After all, if it was worth $300 a share a couple of months back, it must be worth way more than the $70 it's trading at now. Maybe you've read a contrarian piece about how everyone is overreacting to Netflix's awful quarter. I'm MOREBrendan Coffey, Contributor - Oct 25, 2011 2:06 PM ET
The SEC goes after dark pools and finds its first target in Pipeline Trading, a network run by a former Nasdaq president.
FORTUNE -- If you own 10 million shares of a company, it'll be pretty obvious if you want to sell them all. For that reason mutual funds like to divvy up their trades among what are known as dark pools. Dark pools are private trading networks where big institutions MOREBrendan Coffey, Contributor - Oct 25, 2011 11:35 AM ET
Under the new mortgage refinancing plan announced by the White House, you don't need to prove any income to qualify. Sound familiar?
FORTUNE -- The much-written about federally sponsored mortgage refinancing program that started in 2009 fell far short of its aim to help 3 to 4 million homeowners refinance into a better mortgage. It hasn't worked out nearly as well as hoped, with 894,000 mortgages refinanced so far under the MOREBrendan Coffey, Contributor - Oct 25, 2011 8:45 AM ET
There's an economic theory that more debt is needed to emerge from problems created by each new bubble, which in turn makes the next bubble even worse. Can we stop it?
FORTUNE -- Here's the paradox the developed world faces today: easy credit is the solution to financial problems, and easy credit is the source of financial problems. This is the dilemma European leaders face when aiming to manage the terrible fiscal MOREOct 24, 2011 2:07 PM ET
It won't save the troubled euro zone, it could tamp down at least one fire burning in it.
FORTUNE -- The death of Moammar Gadhafi is welcome news for many people, from Libyan rebels to the families of the Pan Am flight 103 victims. For EU leaders struggling to find any glimmers of hope for their economically troubled members, Gadhafi's death may be enough to tamp down at least one fire in the MOREBrendan Coffey, Contributor - Oct 21, 2011 1:43 PM ET
VC activity is still robust, but fund managers are looking more for mature investments.
FORTUNE -- Venture capitalists are still investing lots of money, according to third quarter data from the National Venture Capital Association, but there are signs they are getting a little more risk averse, cutting back steeply on seed deals and pursuing bigger investments.
For the third quarter, VCs invested $6.95 billion in 876 deals, down from $7.88 billion MOREBrendan Coffey, Contributor - Oct 20, 2011 1:48 PM ET
The schizophrenia continues: We aren't going public now, but we will soon.
FORTUNE -- It's probably not a stunning revelation that an increase in IPO filings historically portends an improving economy. Late 2009 saw a strong uptick, for instance, which was followed by a great bull market in 2010, while the stagflation of the mid 1970s meant barely any IPOs saw daylight, especially during the dark days between 1974 and 1976.
So MOREBrendan Coffey, Contributor - Oct 19, 2011 3:23 PM ET
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved new limits on commodities traders. Now analysts want to know what will happen next.
FORTUNE -- Is the cure for speculation in the energy markets worse than the illness? Futures industry professionals are up in arms over a vote by regulators Tuesday to introduce position limits on hedge funds and other traders, saying it will lead to commodity hoarding and large price spikes in the MOREBrendan Coffey, Contributor - Oct 19, 2011 12:33 PM ET
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