In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 26, 2010 / 11 Shevat 5770

Why the economy is only getting worse

By Jack Kelly


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The performance of the stock market was the one bright spot in the otherwise dismal year for the economy in 2009. The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 65 percent from its March low, causing many to hope it was a harbinger of recovery.

President Barack Obama has fixed that. Last week the Dow fell 552 points in the three trading days since the president announced his plans to "reform" the financial services industry.

Wall Street took in stride the president's announcement Jan. 15 he intends to seek a tax on the 50 largest banks, perhaps because Wall Street insiders expect the tax — which his aides said should raise between $90 billion and $117 billion over ten years — to be passed along to consumers.

What tanked the market last week was Mr. Obama's announcement Wednesday he will seek legislation to limit the size of banks, to limit the compensation of executives at banks which have received federal bailouts, and to prohibit proprietary trading (trading for one's own account) by bank holding companies.

There is something to be said for both proposals. It makes sense to have banks which are considered "too big to fail," which are recipients of emergency loans from the Federal Reserve, to pay into a fund from which those loans might be drawn, as all banks pay for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which reimburses bank depositors when banks fail.

And forbidding bank holding companies from proprietary trading is, in essence, simply a reinstatement of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which was in part repealed (for bank holding companies) in 1999. But the Devil is in the details, and in the timing. What is a good idea in normal times can be a bad one in particular circumstances. Vigorous physical exercise is good for most people most of the time, but not for patients suffering from pneumonia.

Proprietary trading is a major profit center for bank holding companies, at a time when few other banking activities are profitable. And the taxes bankers pay are a major source of revenue for the governments of New York State and New York City, both of which are nearly bankrupt. Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted the president's plan at a news conference Saturday.

Letter from JWR publisher

Also uneasy about the plan is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who fears it will harm the competiveness internationally of U.S. firms.

However, had the proposed new rules been in effect, they'd have done next to nothing to prevent the financial meltdown. Lawrence White, a former regulator who now teaches at New York University's business school, described them as "a solution to the wrong problem."

The firms whose failures triggered the financial collapse — Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, the insurer American International Group — were not commercial banks or bank holding companies. There is no evidence proprietary trading contributed to the meltdown.

The root cause, you'll remember, was sub-prime mortgage lending, home loans to poor credit risks on ridiculously easy terms — often no money down for mortgages four or five times the (unverified) annual income of the borrowers. Sub-prime lending was encouraged — some might say insisted upon — by politicians in Washington.

Fly by night outfits such as Countrywide Mortgage were able to make such loans again and again because two quasi-government corporations, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), both run by politically connected Democrats, bought all the bad paper they could generate.

Fannie and Freddie are both bankrupt, kept alive only by massive federal subsidies.

Mortgages were bundled together, chopped into pieces, and sold throughout the financial system with the blessing of regulators, who assumed the new financial instruments (chiefly collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps) would reduce risk. Instead, they multiplied it.

The housing boom and bust was fueled by an easy money policy by the Federal Reserve, begun when Alan Greenspan was chairman, but continued when Ben Bernanke replaced him in 2006.

Absolutely nothing has been done about these root causes of the meltdown. It would seem wiser to begin financial reform by addressing them, rather than with "solutions to the wrong problem" that have been proposed more to solve the president's political woes than our economic ones.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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