February 26, 2021

Economix Blog: Weekend Business Podcast: The Economy, Manufacturing and Commercialized College Life

The economy has been slowing and unemployment in the United States is stuck at 9.1 percent. President Obama has come up with a program that he says will help.

In a speech on Thursday, he offered a $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending programs that received a lukewarm reception from Republicans in Congress. The total of fiscal stimulus items was bigger than expected, but it’s not clear how much of it will be enacted, Floyd Norris says in the new Weekend Business podcast.

The Federal Reserve is contemplating action of its own, deriving inspiration from an old song by Chubby Checker. Among the options being considered to stimulate the economy is a variation on a 1961 Fed program known as Operation Twist. As I write in the Strategies column in Sunday Business, and as we discuss in the podcast, the Fed might twist the composition of its own bond portfolio to lower longer-term interest rates. New research suggests that such an effort might be effective, though its impact could be dwarfed by other influences on financial markets.

In a separate conversation in the podcast, Greg Mankiw, the Harvard economics professor, analyzes the economy’s problems and suggests a long-term solution: stoking the “animal spirits” of business to increase investment spending. This is the focus of his Economic View column in Sunday Business.

And Louis Uchitelle discusses the role of government in manufacturing, the subject of his cover article in Sunday Business. The manufacturing sector is in relative decline in the United States, he says, and isn’t likely to recover without more government help.

The increasing commercialization of college life is the focus of a Sunday Business cover article by Natasha Singer. In a conversation with David Gillen, she says brand marketing on campus has grown in scope and intensity. Along with traditional college colors, student T-shirts have sometimes been emblazoned with corporate logos.

You can find specific segments of the podcast at these junctures: Floyd Norris and Operation Twist (33:31); news summary (25:03); Natasha Singer (22:58); Louis Uchitelle (14:59); Greg Mankiw (7:07); the week ahead (1:43).

As articles discussed in the podcast are published during the weekend, links will be added to this post.

You can download the program by subscribing from The New York Times’s podcast page or directly from iTunes.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=20c199fdd0c64ac598532d921bc1ba3a

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