Housing starts have reached a five-month high, but given how far they’ve fallen, that’s not saying much. Housing starts have hovered near the same level for two years with no signs of rebound.
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel: “lmmigrants should learn to speak German.” Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have “utterly failed”, Chancellor Angela Merkel says.
America’s Founders sought to define a national good that transcended local interests and prejudices. The national good included the common benefits of self-defense and prosperity that all Americans would realize by participating in a large, commercial nation able to hold its own in an often hostile world.
Since the end of the Cold War, administrations of both political parties have underfunded the military, first harvesting a “peace dividend” by reducing the size of the force and then repeatedly postponing investments needed to replace worn out equipment and preserve the technological advantages that have been a traditional source of American strength
In an attempt to stimulate lending and fight deflation, the Bank of Japan cut its benchmark interest rate to a range of 0 to 0.1 percent. While this represents only a small decline from its previous target of 0.1 percent, it marks a significant symbolic step back to Japan’s period of zero interest rates, a strategy the central bank employed until 2006 in a bid to spur growth.
Sharia, or Islamic law, is increasingly in the spotlight as its political and economic role expands in the Muslim world and even in the West.
Proposed legislation would offer financial incentives to increase the population density of communities in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. However, the available evidence, which is admittedly limited, indicates that such “smart growth” policies are misguided, producing minimal results at great expense and disruption. Such policies would threaten to disrupt the already wobbly housing market, make housing less affordable, reduce housing quality, and substantially limit consumer choice.
The number of people who signed contracts to buy homes rose in August for the second straight month but remained far below last year’s pace. The weak economy and fears that prices will fall are keeping many consumers away from the housing market.
Stimulus leaking out of the West’s stagnant economies is flooding into emerging markets, playing havoc with their currencies and economies. Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, Russia and even Poland are either intervening directly in the exchange markets to prevent their currencies rising too far, or examining what options they have to stem disruptive inflows.
Legendary author and reporter Bob Woodward indicated that former JCS Chairman and Secretary of State Colin Powell might get the nod to replace Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense when Gates leaves in 2011.