Macro

  • Tax hikes for the rich? Blame George W. Bush

    It seemed like a great idea at the time: sweeping tax cuts that would never go away because of an endless economic boom. The day of reckoning has come.

    FORTUNE -- What seems brilliant today can come back to bite you in the butt tomorrow when the world changes. That's my major takeaway from the fiscal cliff soap opera.

    It's a lesson that Republican tax-cutting zealots are now learning, painfully, as their MORE

    - Dec 21, 2012 5:00 AM ET
  • Why Republicans need to help Obama

    A little Democratic idealism mixed with some old-fashioned fiscal discipline could be what Republicans need to get Americans back on their side.

    By Sheila Bair, contributor

    FORTUNE -- Over the past four years income inequality has worsened, particularly among minority groups. Continuing a long-term trend, the gap between rich and poor is the widest it has been in 40 years. Wealth inequality is even more skewed, with the upper classes enjoying MORE

    Dec 19, 2012 5:00 AM ET
  • Three ways to make college more affordable

    With student loan balances only growing and tuition rates rising, universities must change the way they do business. Here's how they can start.

    FORTUNE – While Americans are paying down most of their debt these days, student debt remains a huge burden. Some are even questioning if it has become too easy to take out an education loan.

    Outstanding loan balances for the third quarter of 2012 grew to $956 billion, a MORE

    - Nov 29, 2012 12:28 PM ET
  • Where are the first-time homebuyers?

    Despite the recent positive signs in the housing market, one key group has not yet returned.

    FORTUNE --  In another sign that the U.S. housing market is recovering, the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller index report on Tuesday noted home prices over the summer posted its biggest percentage gain in more than two years. This is good news, but a crucial segment is missing out on better days: First-time homebuyers.

    In October, the share of MORE

    - Nov 27, 2012 10:59 AM ET
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  • Why community banks need a break

    New financial regulations could squeeze small banks out of the mortgage market.

    FORTUNE – For all the gripes on Wall Street over how heavily financial reforms stemming from the financial crisis will eat away at profits, the little banks on Main Street may end up hurting most.

    In the latest criticisms over new international banking rules, Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke recently suggested that regulators consider separate rules for the more than MORE

    - Nov 14, 2012 11:29 AM ET
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  • How Tim Geithner can dodge the next debt crisis

    An open letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on how to avoid the fiscal cliff: Stop acting like a policy wonk and start acting like a Wall Street dealmaker.

    FORTUNE -- Dear Mr. Secretary:

    I know that even though President Obama has been reelected, you are planning to leave the Treasury. So I'd like to offer you a goodbye gift. It's not money or a prestigious seven-digit-a-year gig. It's a way to MORE

    - Nov 14, 2012 5:00 AM ET
  • Corporate America: Don't give up on your workers

    If the nation's employers have to ship jobs overseas for lack of talent, they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

    By Nina Easton, senior editor

    FORTUNE -- America has a jobs crisis. Not the one that dropped out of the clouds of the Great Recession. A second, less noticed employment problem is unfolding -- and it's all about job-ready skills, or in our case, the lack of them. The likely MORE

    Nov 13, 2012 5:00 AM ET
  • Three to-dos on China

    The race is over, but how should the U.S. approach the world's second-largest economy?

    FORTUNE – During the U.S. presidential campaign, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama piled on criticisms of China – from being a currency manipulator to playing unfairly in the way it trades with the U.S. and other economies. Now that the race is behind us, how should the U.S. approach China, the world's second-largest economy? A stronger MORE

    - Nov 7, 2012 12:28 PM ET
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  • America's best job creators are slowing down

    Medium-sized companies are the biggest drivers of job creation, and they're not so into hiring these days. That's bad news.

    FORTUNE – We're only halfway through earnings season, but it's clear corporate America is struggling. After seeing remarkable growth amid a shaky economy, U.S. companies expect a decline in year-over-year earnings for the first time in three years. And Sandy's economic toll certainly won't help most companies.

    As big companies brace for MORE

    - Oct 31, 2012 10:11 AM ET
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  • The key to the housing recovery is still investors

    The nature of the housing rebound will depend on who is doing the buying — and that's increasingly investors.

    FORTUNE  -- After witnessing one too many false starts in the recovery of America's housing market, it's hard not to be a little skeptical about what kind of recovery we should expect. Will it improve steadily, or experience choppy stops and starts?

    One way to determine that is by looking at who is MORE

    - Oct 26, 2012 9:58 AM ET
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