Phillip Swagel

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Reuters

7-second takeaway

What the President needs for a positive economic legacy is both a continued macro upswing that further softens the sour taste from his five years of an underperforming labor market, and policy achievements in his final two years in office that improve long-term U.S. growth.

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7-second takeaway

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in her testimony on Capitol Hill this week was candid, as she has been in the past, in telling lawmakers that the biggest economic risk she sees facing the country is the possible emergence of a new permanent class of unemployed workers. 

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Copies of President Barack Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget are delivered to The House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 4, 2014.

7-second takeaway

I think it is incorrect to describe the entire Obama budget released on Tuesday as “dead on arrival.”  Yes, the document was full of retread proposals that did not find favor in previous years and are no more likely to be enacted in 2014. 

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Then Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner (R) listens to then Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (L) at the Treasury Department for the meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council in Washington November 13, 2012.

7-second takeaway

Sometimes government programs that seem flawed at their launch turn out to succeed against all expectations. No, this is not a post about the Affordable Care Act — I still think that will prove to be an unsustainable fiscal train wreck. 

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7-second takeaway

The good news for Janet Yellen is that she will take the reins at the Federal Reserve on Saturday with inflationary pressures subdued and the United States economy finally in an upswing (occasional stock market gyrations notwithstanding).

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President Barack Obama holds a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Jan. 14, 2014.

7-second takeaway

An improving economy and a fiscal truce together signal the possibility of making progress on at least some of the economic challenges facing the United States. Don’t expect a grand bargain with entitlement changes to address the structural fiscal imbalance, or a pro-growth tax reform aimed at putting the U.S. economy back onto a permanently better trajectory.

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7-second takeaway

The Madoff scandal exposed governance problems in a huge range of businesses and charities, making clear that the profit motive can override prudence in big and small enterprises alike. Large banks should not receive any special treatment in response to this and other instances of financial markets’ misbehavior.

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President Barack Obama announces Democratic Representative Mel Watt (L) as his nominee for director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency at the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, May 1, 2013. Mr. Watt was confirmed on January 6, 2014.

7-second takeaway

Melvin L. Watt was sworn in on Monday as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, leaving Congress after a distinguished two-decade career as a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from North Carolina.

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A dealer works at a foreign exchange trading company as a screen displaying the Japanese yen's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar is seen in the background, in Tokyo December 3, 2013.

7-second takeaway

A revival of growth in Japan ultimately will contribute to increased prosperity and security for the United States.

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7-second takeaway

Reading the lengthy background paper that accompanied Tuesday’s release of the Volcker Rule, it is striking the extent to which the five federal regulatory agencies involved sought to implement the law faithfully (as they put it) by prohibiting proprietary trading by banks while avoiding the worst potential negative impacts on financial markets.

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