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The Financial Page

A column by James Surowiecki.

Published: Thu, 22 Aug 2013 22:33:07 GMT2013-08-22T22:33:07Z

Copyright: Copyright 2006 CondeNet Inc. All rights reserved.

James Surowiecki: Why the Chinese don’t spend.

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 05:00:00 GMT2009-11-30T05:00:00Z

8220;China makes, the world takes.” For decades, that has been the motto of the Chinese economy, which is built on providing an endless supply of goods for the rest of the world to buy. But these days there’s a palpable sense that this needs to change . . .

James Surowiecki: Exit Through Lobby

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 04:00:00 GMT2009-10-12T04:00:00Z

Resigning in protest is not in the American grain. Robert McNamara stuck around as Secretary of Defense even after he decided that the Vietnam War was a disaster; Colin Powell did the same during the Bush Administration’s push for war with Iraq; and in the lead-up to . . .

James Surowiecki: Will consumer spending really stay down?

Mon, 05 Oct 2009 04:00:00 GMT2009-10-05T04:00:00Z

For all the uncertainty about the current state of the economy, everyone is sure of one thing: this recession has permanently remade American consumers, turning them from spendthrifts into tightwads. From cover stories on “The New Frugality” to stories about cheapness as a new status symbol and pundits . . .

James Surowiecki: Ratings Downgrade

Mon, 21 Sep 2009 04:00:00 GMT2009-09-21T04:00:00Z

When Barack Obama went to Wall Street last week to make the case for meaningful financial regulation, he took well-deserved shots at some of the villains of the financial crisis: greedy bankers, reckless investors, and captive regulators. But to that list he could have added credit-rating agencies like . . .

James Surowiecki: Recovery and the fear of inflation.

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 04:00:00 GMT2009-09-07T04:00:00Z

The economy is still limping, job losses are still rising, and consumers are still reluctant to open their wallets. So it’s the perfect time to worry about . . . inflation? Apparently so, because, of late, the cries of inflation hawks have grown increasingly loud. Pointing to huge deficit spending, and . . .

James Surowiecki: Status-Quo Anxiety

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 04:00:00 GMT2009-08-24T04:00:00Z

There are times when Americans’ attitude toward health-care reform seems a bit like St. Augustine’s take on chastity: Give it to us, Lord, but not yet. In theory, the public overwhelmingly supports reform—earlier this year, polls showed big majorities in favor of fundamental change . . .

James Surowiecki: Fifty Ways To Kill Recovery

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 04:00:00 GMT2009-07-20T04:00:00Z

If you came up with a list of obstacles to economic recovery in this country, it would include all the usual suspects--our still weak banking system, falling house prices, overindebted consumers, cautious companies. But here are fifty culprits you might not have thought of: the states. Federalism, often described . . .

James Surowiecki: Caveat Mortgagor

Mon, 29 Jun 2009 04:00:00 GMT2009-06-29T04:00:00Z

In 1937, the Massengill Company began selling a health product called Elixir Sulfanilamide, which contained one of the antibiotic sulfa drugs. Unfortunately, it also contained diethylene glycol, a solvent that happens to be deadly to humans. In a matter of months, the elixir killed more than a hundred consumers. The . . .

Will gas prices pump up inflation?

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 04:00:00 GMT2009-06-15T04:00:00Z

How fast the world turns. Only a few months ago, as consumer spending evaporated and commodity prices collapsed, investors and policymakers were haunted by the spectre of deflation. Today, with the economy showing some signs of bottoming and commodity prices back on the rise, the worry du jour has suddenly . . .

James Surowiecki: Argentina's great coin shortage.

Mon, 01 Jun 2009 04:00:00 GMT2009-06-01T04:00:00Z

As you walk into the Retiro train station in downtown Buenos Aires these days, you pass a long line of people snaking their way from the station’s entrance to a single window. At first glance, this is unsurprising: what’s more common than a queue in a train station? But there . . .