This column highlights the top economic stories of the week.
There is no gold left in California. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to layoff fire, police, and teachers. All of this is certain to further increase unemployment and foreclosure rates. Schwarzenegger is now considering releasing nonviolent prisoners, shortening the school year, legalizing and taxing marijuana. Fred provides a unique perspective on the sorry state of California.
The Economist says that in America and Europe, new rules relating to the banking sector overhaul are facing stiff resistance , mostly from regulators themselves.
Tim Geithner plans to unveil a comprehensive regulatory overhaul by mid-June. The European Commission on the other hand, unveiled a blueprint for reform of financial supervision. It will create two new institutions aim to correct a fundamental flaw in European bank regulation and supervision; namely, that although banks are free to operate across borders, they are supervised only by their home countries.
And as GM, the nation’s largest automaker and for decades an icon of American manufacturing, teeters on the brink of bankruptcy and a de facto government takeover, President Obama prepares to address the nation at 11:30 a.m. ET on Monday to explain the rationale for the filing and his hopes that this is the best route for a turnaround. It’s the end of America’s great auto era.
Meanwhile on the renewable energy front, a new study from Greenpeace, the European Solar Thermal Agency, and the International Energy Agency’s SolarPACES Group has shown that concentrated solar power (CSP) could generate a quarter of the world’s energy needs by 2050–and create thousands of new jobs and prevent millions of tons of CO2 from being released. But, while basic renewable energy research is being conducted at numerous institutions around the world and much of this technology remains trapped in labs for want of commercialization know-how and funding.
So, while the worl economy continues to paint a dark picture, Bill Maher throws shares humor by highlighting his “new rules” for America covering everything from the disappearance of bees, greed and health care, to climate change, war profiteering and Ronald Reagan. Enjoy!