Stocks around the world fell sharply Thursday. By midday, the Dow was down about 400 points. Analysts said the Fed's "Operation Twist" was actually a signal that the central bank is still extremely worried about the prospects for recovery.
A number of U.S. mayors have been in Washington this week for meetings at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Their message: We need help. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was in the group from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. And he was the sole Republican. Cornett talks to David Greene about the needs of cities amid the debate over federal budget cuts.
The British government has rejected calls for an easing of its austerity policy in favor of a new fiscal stimulus for the economy. The IMF cut its growth forecasts for Britain on Wednesday — warning that the country was in danger of slipping into recession.
The Federal Reserve has announced a plan to drive long-term interest rates even lower. But with borrowers still too cautious to take on additional debt, will the move have a positive effect? Some experts say they're not holding their breath. "The Fed can only do so much," one analyst says.
Under President Reagan, capital gains were taxed at a higher rate than earned income. Since then, the situation has reversed, and unearned income, the province of the very rich, is taxed at a significantly lower rate than most workers' wages. Polls show the public supports changing this. Will Congress?
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been criticized recently by Republican presidential candidates who called for his firing and an audit of the central bank. Low opinions of the Fed come from a long history of criticism of its power and secrecy, extending back to Thomas Jefferson.
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