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Actually, the Federal Reserve is a quasi-public institution. When looking at managing money supply, which is the primary function of the Fed, a majority of the members (66.7%) are appointed by the President, so that makes it public. They are also required to report on the economy on a quarterly basis. While I might disagree with Bernanke's current strategy, he has done a great job in making the inner workings of the Federal Reserve more transparent. If you want to learn in greater detail the reasons why the Fed has chosen an aggressive monetary policy, then Bernanke gives his rationale in great detail @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLoqPm.... By the way, if the Federal Reserve doesn't control money supply, would you prefer that Congress did? I know I would not and comparisons of countries, such as the US, that has an independent central bank perform much better than the those where it is politicized. Just look at U.S. history before the Fed, economic cycles were much more volatile and severe than they are today. Overall, the Fed has done a very good job in managing our economy and facts support that.
I want to clarify the economic numbers referenced by VSU. There are various economic indicators and you cited two different measures that cover different periods of time. Yes, the US economy contracted by 0.1% during the 4th quarter of 2012 (Oct-Dec), but it is my opinion that it was a one-time anomaly where significant cuts in defense spending brought down that total. This is a measure of economic growth, which mainly consists of consumer spending, which was actually decent at 2.2%, investment spending, government spending, and net export spending. However, this article deals with the unemployment report that covers a different time period (January 2013). It consists of household and industry surveys that attempts to measure the level of unemployment. We mainly look at the unemployment rate and job growth.
I meant to say that the employment to population ratio increased from 58.3 to 58.7, so that's another indication of improvement.
One other factor causing the unemployment rate to fall was that the BLS underestimated the actual growth rate of jobs the previous two months.
While there are indications that the unemployment rate fell due to a number of part-time workers being hired, there was no change in the U-6 unemployment rate which counts part-time workers as being unemployed. Plus, the employment to population ratio fell. Overall, this tells me the job market has improved, but we still have a long way to go before we return back to normal.
The UGA economist, who reflected on Albany's strong economic performance was reflecting what occurred during the whole year and it was accurate. The other economist who predicted that Albany's economy would struggle in 2012 was speculating on performance that hasn't occurred yet and might be accurate, but we will have to wait and see. My comments are a reflection of what I've seen over the last few months where our job rates are much less than they were earlier in the year.
Last login: Monday, March 11, 2013