Though most central bankers hate inflation, policies that promote inflation may boost the U.S. economy, some economists say.
Ken Rogoff, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, says the Federal Reserve's efforts to boost growth haven't worked and the central bank needs to be more forceful.
"They need to be willing, in fact actively pursue, letting inflation rise a bit more," says Rogoff, who is now a professor at Harvard. "That would encourage consumption. It would encourage investment. It would bring housing prices into line."
Rick Perry's parents still live on Farm Market Road 618.
Credit Photos by Don Gonyea / NPR
After he left the Air Force in 1977, Rick Perry returned to Paint Creek, Texas, to be a dryland farmer. "Paint Creek reminds me of a sense of community that seems lost today. ... For me, Paint Creek was not merely an idea; it was the center of civilization, and everything else was an alternative universe," he wrote in his book On My Honor.
During his run for Texas agriculture commissioner, Rick Perry campaigned on his farming and ranching roots. Here, he's seen in a screen grab from one of those ads.
Last summer, immigration rights activists in Los Angeles gathered for a rally calling on the government to act on immigration overhaul legislation. Strong Latino support helped President Obama win in 2008, but his support among those voters is slipping.
Credit Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images
President Obama greets attendees after speaking during the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 34th Annual Awards Gala in Washington last month. The administration has been taking steps to win back the support of Latino voters.
Businessman and GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has been taking advantage of his recent rise to fame. Since he won the Florida straw poll late last month, he is everywhere: appearing on Sunday talk shows, promoting his new book and taking every opportunity to try to maintain his momentum.
People like the way he talks. His frank, motivational style has come out in GOP debates and in speeches.
Pot dispensaries have flourished in California, one of 16 states where the use of medical marijuana is legal. But the federal government is now giving some of the state's pot shops 45 days to close down.
The state's four U.S. attorneys gave notice to at least 16 stores that they must close, or face criminal charges and the seizure of their property, according to the Associated Press.
News that a Florida legislator wants to bring back the banned activity of "dwarf tossing" has people shaking their heads, and wondering why in the world you would want to do something like that. Of course, they're also curious as to whether he'll succeed.
Hairy crabs are extremely popular in China. These were in a market in the eastern province of Jiangsu.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
A crab fisherman plies Yangcheng Lake in the city of Suzhou, not far from Shanghai. The lake is reputed to produce the tastiest crabs in China, but most crabs raised in Yangcheng actually come from somewhere else.
Fake products permeate nearly every corner of China's economy. Earlier this year, the trend seemed to reach a new low when phony Apple stores were exposed in southwestern China.
Each fall, the fakery even extends to the world of seafood and East China's Yangcheng Lake, which is just a short train ride from Shanghai. Yangcheng is home to what are reputed to be China's tastiest and most expensive hairy crabs.
A Mexican soldier carries a marijuana plant that was found on a large plantation in Baja California state, near the border with the U.S., on July 15. The U.S. military has been stepping up its assistance to Mexico in the fight against drug cartels.
LaShawn Merritt crosses the finish line first, in the men's 4x400-meter relay at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Sept. 2. Once banned for doping, Merritt has been cleared to run in London next summer.
The International Olympic Committee says it will fight a court's decision that overturns its rule barring athletes suspended for doping from the next Olympics. The rule, which applied to anyone suspended for more than six months, was challenged by U.S. sprinter LaShawn Merritt, with the support of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Credit David L. Ryan / Boston Globe via Getty Images
Mitt Romney, shown in 1993, is the former CEO of Bain & Co. In the 1980s, he started an investment fund called Bain Capital. His supporters say that's where he learned to solve big problems, create jobs and expand companies. His opponents say he made money by shutting down factories, occasionally driving companies into bankruptcy.
In the late 1970s, recently out of Harvard Business School, Mitt Romney went to work for the Boston consulting firm Bain & Co. He was successful, but he says his dream was always to run his own business.
In 1984, he got the chance.
The firm's founder asked Romney to start an investment fund called Bain Capital. The company would put money into small or struggling businesses, help them grow, and then Bain would cash out.
The tech world is mourning Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday from complications of pancreatic cancer. Even as the tributes roll in, it's hard to avoid this nagging question: What will become of Apple without its charismatic co-founder?
Jobs rescued Apple from near bankruptcy and turned it into one of America's most important companies — and one of its biggest. Now, Apple is trying to keep the Jobs magic alive.
Richard Cordray was approved by the Senate Banking Committee to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But Senate Republicans have vowed to filibuster nominees if there aren't changes to the agency.
Old hands in Washington know it's never a good sign when the president of the United States has to make a statement like this one.
"I have complete confidence in Attorney General Holder, in how he handles his office," President Obama told reporters at a news conference Thursday. "He has been very aggressive in going after gun running and cash transactions that are going to these transnational drug cartels."
Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 3:11 pm
With college sports conferences realigning themselves as if they were inspired by the Human Centipede horror films, another twist has emerged today, with Texas Christian University opting to leave the Big East — a conference it had not yet formally joined — in favor of the Big 12.
The move is sure to unsettle the Big East, which has already lost Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the Atlantic Coast Conference. There are also rumblings that the University of Connecticut is interested in leaving for the ACC, as well.
Millionaire James (Art) Pope poured money into helping a Republican strategy called RedMap succeed in North Carolina. The project is aimed at taking over state legislatures and then leveraging those victories to shift the balance of power in Washington.
In early 2010, Republican strategists launched a new project called RedMap. The idea was to flip as many state houses across the country to Republican majorities during the 2010 election cycle — particularly in states where congressional redistricting was pending.
Steve Jobs, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 56, was obsessed with computers from an early age. In 1975, when he was 20, Jobs was part of the Homebrew Computer Club — a group of early computer enthusiasts obsessed with making computers more popular.
"People [would be] all together in a room, jostling, bubbling with ideas, bringing in new technology, new chips, new displays, new networks, new software, everything new," says John Gage, a former member of the club.
Despite concerns about Congress and the European debt crisis, most U.S business owners remain optimistic and expect growth to continue this year, the heads of both General Electric and FedEx said Thursday.
"There's still a lot of growth," GE CEO Jeff Immelt told about 600 executives attending a conference on middle-sized businesses. "It's a long, slow recovery...but it is getting better."
FedEx CEO Fred Smith agreed, saying that shipments of goods continue to reflect a growing economy. "We don't see a contraction," Smith said. "Just slow growth; steady as she goes."
Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 9:57 am
With New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (once again) declining to enter the Republican presidential primary race, his core group of financial industry fundraisers – a group that had been urging him to run – went looking for new candidates to endorse.
President Obama is this hour holding a news conference at the White House. We're live-blogging, so be sure to hit your "refresh" button to see our latest additions. If you'd like to hear the news conference, click "LISTEN LIVE" in the box above.
Update at 11:12 a.m. ET. On Tax Cuts:
Republican lawmakers make the case that the president's $447 billion jobs bill relies too much on tax increases and not enough on spending cuts.
Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 3:15 pm
Like a glass-blower by a wintry sea, Tomas Transtromer has been slowly and painstakingly making poems in his native Stockholm since the early 1950s. In his debut work, the modestly titled Seventeen Poems, published when Transtromer was just 23, the Swedish poet imagined Thoreau in the woods, "disappearing deep in his inner greenness/artful and hopeful."
This year's winning photographers snapped images of wild boars, grey seals, tope sharks, scorpion flies and, yes, even a fox. The competition's best entries will be featured in a coffee table book and in a U.K. exhibition.